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GP Week : Issue 182
Williams continued to be in the wars in Barcelona, with Pastor Maldonado’s three-place elevation from his qualifying position being the only joy the Grove team could take away from the weekend. It’s hard to reconcile the team’s performance this weekend with the fact that a mere twelve months ago, Barcelona was the scene of Williams’ first Formula One victory since Brazil 2004. In a season that has been the tightest in recent memory, their failure to build on that conquest must be a bitter pill to swallow. The trouble for Williams started on lap ten, after Maldonado incurred a drive - through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. From there, the Venezuelan racer found himself in the unfamiliar position of of racing Lewis Hamilton ... for P17! Hamilton was none too complimentary on the radio about being reduced to battling with the Williams driver, to the extent that the 2008 world champion let Maldonado slip past while he was busy making the slightly disparaging remark. Maldonado, however, was more focussed on the bigger picture facing his team. “We cannot give up,” he said. “We must keep going to find a solution. At the moment we have no idea how to fix our problems, which seems incredible, but this is Formula One.” Valtteri Bottas had his own challenges to deal with, not least the ignominy of being chased down by the Caterham of Charles Pic during the closing stages of the race. The Finn fought off Pic’s attack, but believed a strategy similar to his teammate’s would have been preferable given the degradation issues being experienced the length of the grid. “I couldn’t feel the grip in the car and we were sliding a lot from the start which meant we were hard on the tyres.” said Bottas. “ We made a three-stop strategy work but in the end, Pastor switched to a four-stop race and that seemed to be better.” With a focus on mechanical grip being a feature at Monaco, Williams will be hoping to add to their paltry points tally for 2013. Williams’ woes continue F1 >>> BARCELONA 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: