JUNE 1, 2011
Monaco was bittersweet for Williams
Williams scored its first points of 2011 with Rubens Barrichello's ninth place in Monte Carlo, but technical director Sam Michael admitted that the team was disappointed that the result was not stronger.
"It was great for everyone to get some points on the board," he said, "but it was somewhat bittersweet because Pastor Maldonado was looking good for a big points haul. Rubens, as well, was perhaps looking good for an even better result but the first safety car came out and damaged his position significantly. You can see that from the number of cars that were running behind him that ended up in the top five after the safety car. Monaco is normally a lottery in that respect.
"I was particularly impressed at the speed we had on the same age tyres as the top cars. For sure there is still a lot of work to do but we are heading in the right direction."
After a difficult start to the year for Maldonado, Michael was quick to sing his praises at a track on which the Venezuelan always excelled in the junior formulae.
"Pastor's performance was nothing short of excellent. His two engineers Xevi Pujolar and Andrew Murdoch also did a great job. Their efforts really helped us make the right tyre and strategy decisions and Pastor pushed hard in the race when it mattered."
Michael viewed Maldonado's race-ending collision wit Lewis Hamilton as a "racing incident" and looks forward optimistically to the Canadian GP on June 12.
"Every circuit has been different this year, but with the improvements we have coming to the FW33 next weekend we should be competitive," he said.