Williams: Team records worst ever qualifying performance

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

Posted on

| Written by

Williams’ dreadful season hit a new low in Abu Dhabi with the worst qualifying performance in the team’s history.

Rubens BarrichelloPastor Maldonado
Qualifying position2324
Qualifying time comparison (None)No time
Race position1214
Pit stops21

Williams drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):


Rubens Barrichello124.36111.676110.501110.608110.969109.773109.965109.412109.535109.304109.18110.39109.184109.064108.968109.288108.881110.251131.317107.255107.024107.046106.939106.768107.015106.515106.563106.185106.499106.325106.679106.404105.923107.702126.16105.254105.13105.291105.022106.244105.981105.398105.84105.306105.069104.575104.451105.11104.644104.438104.797104.601105.52105.149
Pastor Maldonado125.392112.447111.632110.484110.819109.47110.025110.04109.68109.294109.293109.52109.308109.4109.409109.448108.735109.059109.302109.05109.916108.956109.152109.151110.715128.38106.513107.719106.808108.797118.08110.481106.751106.009105.991105.855106.382105.675108.695105.522109.638105.737105.699105.379105.028105.265105.03104.96105.34105.412104.674104.628105.013105.475

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start tyreMedium
Pit stop 1Soft 24.219s
Pit stop 2Soft 20.534s

Barrichello had a weekend fraught with setbacks. An engine oil problem caused his engine to shut down in first practice before he had set a timed lap.

It got no better on Saturday as he suffered another oil leak and was unable to set a time in qualifying.

He started the race well on the medium compound tyres and was up to 17th by the end of lap one. While others who started on the same tyres made early pit stops to get rid of them, Barrichello stayed out until lap 18 before switching to softs.

The right-rear tyre was slow to go on at the stop, costing him around five seconds. That probably cost him a place to Sebastien Buemi, but the Toro Rosso retired on the next lap anyway.

Barrichello passed Vitaly Petrov on his way to finishing 12th, which has been par for the course for Williams in the second half of the season.

Rubens Barrichello 2011 form guide

Pastor Maldonado

Start tyreMedium
Pit stop 1Soft 20.201s

Maldonado qualified 17th but his engine change penalty demoted him to the back row along with his team mate.

He picked up a further two penalties during the race as the stewards decided he failed to observe blue flags telling him to let cars that were lapping him past. He had a drive-through penalty and was handed a 30-second time penalty after the race, though it made no different to his finishing position.

Pastor Maldonado 2011 form guide

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

    Image © Williams/LAT

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    12 comments on “Williams: Team records worst ever qualifying performance”

    1. It was nice to see Rubens coming back in the race to take 12th, I really hate to see Williams down at the lower end of the field for a team which used to dominate in the past.

      Neither the less I was appalled at Maldonado in the race, you could quite clearly see if we frustrated at being lapped and interrupted when trying to compete, however he caused significant set backs to the front runners! Webber especially.. I thought he was going to try to race him into turn 8..

      Only a 30second penalty at the end which changed nothing in terms of position seems like a poor choice. Especially as he did the offences so close to one and other..

      I’m not sure if people agree?

      1. sorry its supposed to read “quite clearly see he was frustrated

    2. It is so sad to see Williams struggling like this. It really does seem like a matter of time before the third most successful team of all time, one which has given us so many great memories through the years, will be bowing out. I really do hope that isn’t the case and that they turn it around, but they have got a mountain to climb to get themselves back into the midfield mix next season.

      1. Frank and Patrick are perhaps the most respected of the team owners. They are the third most successful grand prix team to date and i really wish them more success, just for how Frank and Patrick conduct themselves. It is unfortunate that Williams have not been able to shrug its monkey which has been on the shoulder for now god-damned 7 years. I would like to see them compete for wins again, and god willing with Renault power next year, they just might.

        1. Yeah, I too want to see them racing with the big guys next season; wiith a new engine, new technical staff, new driver (Kimi) I hope…

    3. It makes it so hard to still want Williams to succeed, even as a fan of them. The qualifying result was obviously out of their hands and they shouldn’t have been there but you couldn’t help but think they would have been 17th and 18th anyway.

      Maldonado is really not making a name for himself, well I guess he is, as someone who does not deserve a place in F1. I never wanted him in the team after he spent so long trying to get out of GP2. The on track behaviour of him ignoring blue flags was completely out of order and I don’t know why he didn’t get a drive through for the second penalty. Barrichello didn’t do much better either when he tried to overtake Hamilton! ha

      Barrichello did well to get up to 12th but that isn’t what Williams are about, or what they shouldn’t be about anyway. I can’t see this team being anywhere near the front for many years to come, especially with the likeliness of Maldonado staying on the books next year.

      1. In the first half of the race both Williams had reached 12th/14th place which was very good, then Maldonado went crazy and Barrichello couldn’t improve any more.
        I doubt Kimi would do much difference.

    4. It is sad to see Williams struggling, but I was impressed by Barrichello in the race, as he drove brilliantly to finish 12th

      Its a shame that Williams may have no choice but to retain Maldonado for his money, as he was terrible in the race and has been poor for most of the season.

      1. @kamui-fan I don’t think he’s been too bad. He’s been a little reckless and thoughtless, resulting in the amount of penalties he’s received. He is a rookie and should be given at least a season to get up to speed.

    5. I felt a little sorry for Maldonado, he didn’t know where to put the car when trying to get out of the way!

      Surely this has to be their biggest qualifying-to-race improvement all season? Tragic as it is.

    6. Maldonado might not have a pretty face and seem like a bit of a jerk, but he has out performed Rubens this season. So, I don’t see why everyone is treating him as if he’s some totally inept pay-driver. Believe it or not, but Pastor has actually done better than Hulkenberg did against Rubens in his rookie season. It’s just the pay driver tag and GP2 career have people making up their minds before hand.

      Also, all this sobbing about Williams’ demise shows a very short memory. This team grabbed a pole, a fourth place, about 20 top tens and outpaced all the mid-field teams just last year. They tried something radical in an attempt to contend with the big budget teams and it cost them the ability to even be in the mid pack. However, they’ve got an ex-long time McLaren Chief Designer on board among others, strong infrastructure/facilities and probably the fifth biggest budget. I’d venture to say that a team who could at the very least run consistently in the top ten is of great value and won’t simply disappear. At worst, I could see them being sold and changing names or adding a name. Lets not forget that besides the heavy hitters, Williams actually has other business ventures that produce real income and their brand name is worth a lot when it comes to expanding those business ventures. So, they’d be an attractive team to buy and keep the name/heritage for someone looking to get into F1.

    7. Keeping Maldonado and let Rubens go will be a fatal mistake for Williams’ progress. We all know that!

    Comments are closed.