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GP Week : Issue 51
Rosberg let down by strategy WILLIAMS F1 Engineering Director Patrick Head has blamed poor strategy for the loss of a potential podium at the British Grand Prix, on the 30th anniversary of the team’s first Grand Prix victory. Head said that a combination of fuel levels and tyre choice, aligned to the strategy calls of rivals, had ultimately hindered Nico Rosberg’s ability to set a consistent pace in clean air and seal a possible podium for Williams. “I think Rubens [Barrichello] started on the option tyre and when he was put on the primes he was very slow,” Head told journalists in the Silverstone paddock. “We were up behind Rubens and he was really destroying our race and in a way you could see that some cars worked on one tyre but not the other. It didn’t necessarily work well on them both. Jenson at the end on the option looked as though he ran pretty quickly. It’s capable but it’s like anything . We need to go back and look at it and see if we should have put a bit more fuel in. Nico’s fastest lap was not a one-off rarity, but it was only because of the traffic [that the podium was lost], and here it has always been difficult to overtake unless you were Nigel Mansell.” Head refused to get too upset, however, pointing to new upgrades that had helped give Williams a much needed boost, even if strategy had cost them the ultimate result. “Strategy is part of the game. You don’t get any prizes for doing a quick lap, you’ve got to do a quick race. It’s part of what it’s all about. You’ve got to get the car quick and at the same time you’ve got to make the right decision. Sometimes even half a second coming out behind the wrong person can be a problem. “A tenth can be a couple of rows on the grid. Everybody’s so bloody close. Whatever the gap, that’s the process for every race. Everyone’s got to be bringing development or you’ll find yourself sliding backwards and if you don’t know what’s going on you’ll wonder why.” Points not en Button’s frustration CHAMPIONSHIP leader Jenson Button was unable to turn his staggering early season form into a famous home victory at the British Grand Prix, following a race that he described as being “frustrating”. Button was caught behind the slow-starting Toyota of Jarno Trulli on the first lap, and from there struggled with getting heat into his tyres and eventually finished sixth. “All points are important at this stage of the season and to come away with three from this weekend is therefore okay, but it’s been a very frustrating home Grand Prix for us,” he said. “I had a bad start as Trulli was slow off the 28 line in front of me which left nowhere to go. I tried the inside and then the outside but everyone shot by me. “From ninth place it was never going to be an easy race. I was stuck behind Trulli for the first stint which was really frustrating as the car felt good on the softer tyre and I was much quicker than him but couldn’t overtake. We then had a long middle stint on the harder tyre and both Rubens and I struggled to get the tyres into their working range in the cool conditions with a heavy fuel load. “We need to understand why our car doesn’t work so well at low temperatures and hope for warmer races to come.”