Williams: Monaco was a race of frustrated potential 30 May 2012
After the highs of Barcelona, Williams crashed back down to earth with a bump or two in Monte Carlo. Though the FW34 had retained the pace it had in Spain, Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna struggled to exploit the car's potential to the maximum. Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan discusses their unfulfilled Monaco promise and looks ahead to delivering more at the forthcoming Canadian round in Montreal...
Q: Mark, it was a frustrating weekend for Williams in Monaco. So much potential, yet the team only earned one world championship point. How competitive was the FW34 around the Principality's streets?
Mark Gillan: 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.
Q: This was the first race of the year for Pirelli's super-soft compound. Did it perform as you expected?
MG: Yes, the tyre performed pretty well (as expected) in terms of both pace and durability.
Q: Were you surprised that so many people opted for a one-stop strategy in the race?
MG: No not really, as the tyres were capable of a one stop and it was likely to have been the default strategy for the majority of the field.
Q: Maldonados weekend was compromised by a 10-place grid penalty, following a collision with Sergio Perez in Practice Three. What was your opinion of the incident and the penalty?
MG: I think that the incident was avoidable and therefore disappointing and that the penalty was therefore understandable.
Q: Senna was more competitive in race trim than in qualifying. Why was that, and what does he need to do to qualify higher?
MG: 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 Raikkonen 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.
Q: The Canadian Grand Prix comes next. What are the technical challenges of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and what can we expect from the FW34 there?
MG: 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.
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