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GP Week : Issue 150
Fresh from their first double points finish in over a year last weekend, Williams came crashing back to Earth with a bang on Sunday as they recorded their first double retirement of the season. Neither Pastor Maldonado nor Bruno Senna made the chequered flag in Bahrain, although the Grove-based team wasn’t going to feature in the top ten having struggled on pace all weekend. The problems began for Williams even before qualifying, when Pastor Maldonado incurred a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on Friday night. The Venezuelan ultimately qualified 21st after opting not to run in Q2 to save tyres, while Senna qualified 15th in the sister car. Despite both making up places at the start, neither were able to break into the top ten. Maldonado only made it to lap 25 before picking up a puncture at turn 1 and spinning violently as he accelerated out of Turn 3. He made it back to the pits, but retired from the race. Senna almost made it the full distance, but began feeling vibrations through his brake pedal in the closing stages. The vibrations continued to get worse, prompting the team to retire the car in the name of safety. “Pastor’s first stint of the race was decent but unfortunately he spun on lap 25 due to a problem on the left-rear of the car, which forced us to retire him from the race. We are still investigating this problem,” explained the team’s Chief Operations Engineer, Mark Gillan. “Bruno was running in the mid-field for the majority of the race, but a few laps from the finish he complained of a worsening problem with the handling of the car and we took the difficult decision to retire his car too.” Williams remain seventh in the championship despite not scoring, with a gap of 13 points to closest rivals Sauber in sixth. FROM DOUBLE POINTS TO DOUBLE RETIREMENT Williams struggles 26 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BAHRAIN