Singapore debrief with Williams' Mark Gillan 26 Sep 2012
Williams weekend in Singapore started in spectacular fashion as Pastor Maldonado put his FW34 on the front row, but ultimately ended in disappointment as both the Venezuelan and team mate Bruno Senna failed to complete the race due to reliability issues. Chief operations engineer, Mark Gillan, gives us his thoughts...
Q: Mark, please sum up your emotions after a fast, but ultimately disappointing Singapore Grand Prix for Williams
Mark Gillan: In brief it was an extremely frustrating weekend. It was what I would call a character building weekend, with the high expectations following a front-row qualification and fast race pace ultimately dashed due to a double DNF and a risky strategy call.
Q: In terms of pace, the car was competitive in qualifying and the race. How much confidence does that give you going forward?
MG: It gives us a tremendous amount of confidence. We saw that the car was capable of qualifying on the front row and that the race pace was equally impressive. Both drivers did a very good job in the race, with Pastor fighting hard at the front and Bruno carving his way from the back into a points scoring position before having to retire the car.
Q: The FW34's reliability has been one of its biggest strengths so far this year. Did the heat of Singapore contribute to the issues that led to the retirements of both cars?
MG: As you say the car has been very reliable. We are currently investigating the failures and have full confidence in getting to the root cause quickly and implementing the required fixes as soon as possible. At this stage we do not believe that the heat played a part in the failures.
Q: Pastor drove well all weekend and started on the front row for the first time since May. How good was his qualifying lap?
MG: It was a very special lap and a real boost for the team.
Q: Bruno had some burn marks on his back after the race; have you worked out what caused them?
MG: We have a good idea but are still investigating just to make sure that we have covered all potential causes.
Q: Tyre wear was marginal for some teams during the race. Was it a concern on the FW34?
MG: Tyre wear, degradation and thermal drop-off are always key drivers in the strategy and of concern although wear was not such an issue in the race.
Q: The Japanese Grand Prix comes next, a race Williams last won in 1996. What can we expect from the FW34 around Suzuka?
MG: The Singapore result was particularly painful so we are out to make amends and expect to be strong.
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