Williams were capable of top five in Monaco, says Gillan

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan admitted he was “disappointed” with the team’s performance in Monaco.

He said: “The car was good enough for a P4 or P5 qualifying position and our race pace was also good so it is disappointing not to have come away from this event with a decent haul of points.”

Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado collected a ten-place penalty following a collision with Sergio Perez, then crashed into Pedro de la Rosa on the first lap of the race.

Of Maldonado’s collision with Perez, Gillan said: “I think that the incident was avoidable and therefore disappointing and that the penalty was therefore understandable.”

Team mate Bruno Senna qualified 13th and finishing tenth, scoring a single point.

Senna’s race was disrupted by the slow pace of Kimi Raikkonen, according to Gillan: “Bruno was very honest after qualifying admitting that he could have done better and he pushed hard through the race but was ultimately frustrated by Kimi who held him up.

“We will continue to work hard with Bruno in the simulator and on the track to help him maximise the new tyres’ performance.”

Willan called on both his drivers to raise their game in the next race at Montreal: “The team are looking forward to Montreal as we believe that we should be strong again, but we need to deliver in both qualifying and the race.

“Montreal is usually an eventful race, with multiple stops, high brake wear and with the chance of a safety car being very likely.”

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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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...

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25 comments on “Williams were capable of top five in Monaco, says Gillan”

  1. Quite right they were disappointed. However, I was surprised not more teams tried Button and Vettel’s strategy of starting on the softs. If the Williams had indeed been kind to its tyres, that would have worked quite well. Although perhaps so few drivers were starting on the softs because they thought everyone else would, and they would undercut by pitting first from supersoft tyres.

    I also don’t understand why not more drivers behind Raikkonen stopped early and tried the undercut. Vergne, who was way out of the points in his first stint, stopped as early as lap 16/17, was dropped in a nice gap behind the midfield, and overtook the whole lot of them to move into 7th. Of course, his tyres were going off a bit at the end, but that’s not to say it wasn’t worth a try (or that he couldn’t have held his pursuers off if it had stayed dry), especially for a team like Williams, with a car that is kind to its tyres.

    1. Leen (@leendert82)
      30th May 2012, 10:39

      Reason why the teams did not pitted earlier was due to the exptected rain, which in the end did not came. When it was clear that the rain would not come all teams pitted with exception of Vettel and Button

  2. The main problem of the ‘second tier’ (if I may use this combination of words) F1 drivers is not that they cannot deliver, that is, be as quick & great as a Vettel but that they are unable to perform consistently at that level, which, in my opinion, is the case with both of Williams’ current drivers. By hiring Maldonado and Senna, Williams might have gained a lot of money that they have been (succesfully) investing in the development of the car but I think they have also lost some valuable points that Barrichello or Hulkenberg might have scored.

    1. Bruno Cesar
      30th May 2012, 15:48

      I totally agree … I think that money has helped the team get a decent engine over on the other hand lack experience and consistency … Rubens and Nico were a good match.

    2. Rubens has outlived his years in F1. He was slower than Maldonado last year. Rubens wouldn’t have won in Spain.
      As of Hulkenberg i don’t see what makes him a first class driver. He hasn’t proven anything yet.

      1. @solo – a pole in 2010? And yes Rubens isn’t the quickest driver (he was completely overshadowed by Schumacher & Button) but he is much more consistent than Maldonado, and consistency is what will win this championship (as Alonso is proving currently)

        1. Lol, pole in 2010. Well under that logic if that single variable weather pole suddenly makes him first class driver then Maldonado is even a bigger talent because he has a race win.

          Massa is consistent too, just not in the points. Being slow and consisted doesn’t win anything.

          1. @solo – the pole was merely an example; he had proved himself to be quick in gp2 and has had much fewer incidents during his F1 career. Sure, he has been outperformed by di resta so far but he is faring fairly well this season in a car that isn’t as competitive as the Sauber or Williams

  3. iWlliams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan says their car was capable of getting in the top five in Monaco.

    The car might have been capable, but the drivers clearly weren’t. Right now, the team is vulnerable to Sauber and needs a real push if they want to think about challenging Lotus. Sooner or later, Maldonado or Senna will have to go. Sooner rather than later makes more sense.

    1. Inclined to agree with this. Both have done well on occasion, but they need to do it a lot more consistently. This seems to be beyond the pair of them.

    2. Fernando Cruz
      31st May 2012, 12:22

      The team was not at the level of the car. Before blaming the drivers the strategy of the team was the one to blame. What the hell was that idea of doing long runs in FP3? All the drivers needed was to practice qualifying laps and the team put them preparing the race for most part of the session!!! What is the point of having a quick car in the race starting so far in the grid in a track where it is almost impossible to overtake? Maldonado’s mistakes in FP3 (that ruined his weekend) were partly because of that. It was too late and there was to much traffic when drivers went to practice qualifying laps in FP3! Then in Q2 Senna was held by Vergne in his first try and failed in his second attempt, he pushed too much and the tyres were gone. Maldonado was held by Massa in Q3, without that he could be in the top 5.

  4. They win one race, and think they can challenge at the front. Reality check for the Williams team please. So much work to do, starting with their driver management. Maldonado needs a good talking too and Senna needs more support, rather than being shafted in almost every first practice session this year. Remarkable how he has done given the circumstances this year.

    1. Remarkable how he has done given the circumstances this year.

      Yes, it’s remarkable that Senna was able to qualify 14th in a car that the team believe was capable of 5th. Maldonado demonstrated that, at the very least, the car was capable of reaching Q3.

      And Monaco was one of the five races where Senna did not/will not give up his car to Valterri Bottas.

      1. 15*1.5hrs = 22.5 hours out of the car, on the track. All the simulator work in the world cannot compensate spending good time out on the track yourself, rather than relying on the data which the reserve driver provides you with. Sure, it may be useful, but in terms of getting a feel for the car, learning break points, getting everything fine tuned – there is no better person for it than yourself.

        I rate Bottas, but I believe his development and track time should be shared between drivers.

        With regards to Maldonado, he has demonstrated he occassionally has pace. He has also shown that his attitude is awful, he’s a dangerous and arrogant child (yes, I said child, as he acts like one).

        Mercedes and Ferrari said after Barcelona that they intended to support their drivers to get to the bottom of their issues with the car to give the best possible result. Lo and behold, Schumacher was quick enough for pole and Massa made it into Q3 and had a respectable race. Williams need to do the same for Senna. Yes, they’re going to look more favourably at the person who puts more into their bank account, but the team should be looking at getting as many points and as higher constructor position as possible, especially this year. The top 5 look to be scoring good points all year between them. Sauber and Force India are scrapping for the best of the rest, Williams need both drivers doing the best they can to be sure of at least getting 6th in the championship, which gives them a big bag of prize money for the following year

        1. @jamesf1

          15*1.5hrs = 22.5 hours out of the car, on the track. All the simulator work in the world cannot compensate spending good time out on the track yourself, rather than relying on the data which the reserve driver provides you with. Sure, it may be useful, but in terms of getting a feel for the car, learning break points, getting everything fine tuned – there is no better person for it than yourself.

          We’ve had six races in the 2012 season so far. Even though he has missed quite a bit of running in FP1, Senna should be more than familiar with the car by now. If he isn’t, he has no place being in Formula 1.

          1. Fernando Cruz
            31st May 2012, 13:08

            So Button has no place in F1 either. He is doing even worse than Senna with a McLaren, a better car than Williams…

          2. Incredible.

            What are your views on Kobayashi, Riccardo, and Raikkonen then? Kobayashi havent scored a huge haul of points, I presume they should be kicked out too?

          3. enough with the Senna bashing PM, you are just embarrassing yourself!! Button, in a front running car finished behind Senna at Monaco. enough said on this. Surely by your conclusions petrov shouldn’t her in F1 either! Instead of the constant negativity, why don’t you focus your time on something else, or maybe talking about something positive. Prior to Spain Bruno was outclassing Pastor. Such short memories lol!!

  5. They’re a confusing bunch really. They clearly had the pace in Barcelona which they had on merit as opposed to Sauber, one of their closest rivals, did well in Malaysia but perhaps only by virtue of the rain getting in the way. I do believe they have a strong car but it’s useless without good execution. Monaco is a tricky circuit and I don’t think you can read too much into a single performance.

    If they can tweak their engine to more like Lotus do (high top-speed) for Montreal they should have a good weekend.

    1. @andrewtanner, Andrew the rules do not allow” tweaking the motor” higher top speeds are only achieved by reducing drag and raising (lower numerically) final drive ratio, both of these can be detrimental to other areas of performance. If it was as simple as you suggest RBR would have done it years ago.

      1. @hohum That’s pretty much what I was getting at, I just wasn’t very clear about it :D

  6. Mark Gillian should be disappointed! Not just with the team’s poor performance, but by the behaviour of Pastor Maldonado. Not for the first time in his F1 career, Maldonado became ‘involved’ in an avoidable incident with another driver. Instead of it being Lewis Hamilton, this time it was with the Sauber of Sergio Perez, and it cost himself and Williams dearly.
    Maldonado’s deserved penalty put him at the back of the grid, no other reason, and this ultimately led to his crash with De La Rosa.
    Winning a grands prix is a massive achievement, but Maldonado to me is arrogant. Arrogant in the belief that millions of dollars of oil money can sustain his F1 career, at the meddling thing is is that he is probably right.
    His chopping across the front of Perez for me was unforgivable, especially as it was so simular to the incident at Spa with Hamilton. Back then many accused Hamilton of playing a part in that shambles, but Maldonado more than played his part and pretty much wrecked Sergio’s racein Monaco.
    Bruno Senna may not be a great driver, everybody rates him poorly, but he doesn’t behave like that and cost his team points. As one wag put it the other day, Bruno’s crashes are all accidents and never on purpose because he isn’t talented enough to crash delibrately! Harsh, but the fact remains that Senna scored points at Monaco which is alot better than what Maldonado can achieve.
    Will Senna get dropped by Williams? I think he will, but if Pastor keeps up his arrogant ways how long will it be before Williams get fed up of him? There relationship with Juan Montoya went sour quickly, and Maldonado has his arrogance but never ‘his’ speed, which is even worse.
    Personally, I found the whole thing embarrassing and infantile. If Williams are to be taken seriously again, they need men in their cars and not spoilt boys.

  7. When I look at Button, Vettel and Räikkönen, I think Senna’s in good company with his problems in qualifying at Monaco. I know it’s about more than Monaco, but if your normal way of working is to give one of the least experienced drivers of the field one practice less, this is to be expected.

  8. When you consider how much time Bruno has had not racing during teenage years, when your body learns a lot of its motor skills (no pun intended lol), if anything, he would develop more by having more time in the car (although he is a bit old now to really become a very fast driver). So why they are giving him less time, I have no idea. Sure the extra cash from any up and coming drivers helps the team, but Williams will make more by having the extra championship points at the end of the season. Senna is not as quick as Maldonado over one lap, but he is much more settled, Maldonado has shown a few times that he has no control over his temper. I think Senna should be given two full seasons at Williams to help develop before people start judging, but they are not doing him any favours by limiting his time in the car. Its just a shame he is not 5 years younger!

  9. Their car was capable, but the drivers under performed it. I thought Maldonado may have finally proved himself worthy of an F1 seat this year; his performance in Australia (until his last lap incident) and his maiden win in Spain were champion-like performances, yet he has returned to his old ways in the most recent race.
    This is one of the main reasons why I disagree with pay drivers; they fill F1 seats which could otherwise be awarded to worthy drivers. Surely the rewards of points and constructors places outweigh those brought by corporate sponsorship?

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