2 MAY 16 2012 motorsport-news.co.uk
IN THIS ISSUE
THE VOICE OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT ISSUE JA2821
“It was all about recovery for us”
P8 McLaren praises Lewis Hamilton’s Spanish charge
BISHOPSCOURT TRACK GETS THE THUMBS UP
Northern Irish circuit is popular after race return
COE: NEW RALLY
GB ROUTE IS WORLD CLASS
MNreveals the top tweaks to Britain’s WRC round
BRITISH STARS HEAD TO HEAD IN GERMAN CARS
The DTM returns and two Brits will be at the front
Spanish Grand Prix report
SUBSCRIBETOMOTORSPORTNEWS 16 Historic race and rally news 17 Insight:Nürburgring 24 Hours 23 Preview:Britain’s DTM battlers 24 British F3 report:Pau,France 26 Racing reports 27 IRC report:Corsica 30 Manx National Rally report 31 Rally reports 32 Karting round-up 33 Sporting Scene round-up 34 Letters/Comment/What’s On 36 Wanted:A crystal ball to reveal the winner of the Monaco GP – we’ve giving up trying to predict it...
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Sir Frank says team can rise back to the
ByRobert Ladbrook Sir Frank Williams reckons that his team has the potential to re-establish itself among the elite in Formula One following Pastor Maldonado’s shock victory in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. Maldonado held off a late charge from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at the Circuit de Catalunya to secure his maiden grand prix victory and return the Williams F1 Team to the top step of the podium for the first time in eight years.
Sir Frank Williams, who celebrated his 70th birthday recently, said he was overjoyed at the Venezuelan ending his team’s 132-race winless streak. The team’s last win camewhen Juan Pablo Montoya won the Brazilian GPback in 2004.
aerodynamics boys in particular have been outstanding – they’ve excelled this weekend. All the hard work has really shown and they’ve delivered us a truly competitive car. The Renault engine is very strong and we have such a strong working relationship with them.” Williams’ victory also makes it the fifth different constructor to win in the opening five races of the year. The last time that happened was in 1983 when Keke Rosberg won in his Williams-Ford at Monaco, following victories for Brabham, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari.
Maldonado’s form Maldonado was the surprise of the entire weekend, and shocked with his pace during qualifying on Saturday. After topping both opening qualifying
“It’s such an emotional day, it’s magic really,” said Sir Frank Williams. “The effort has been over the course of the last year, not just this weekend.
“In terms of the car there’s definitely potential there. There are possibilities but we must work hard and ensure that our level of development can compare to the other teams at the front. We’ll have to wait and see what more we can achieve, but we have needed this win for a long time.”
Maldonado: shock success sessions Maldonado inherited pole when Lewis Hamilton was excluded for a technical fault with his McLaren (see page eight). Although Maldonado lost the lead early on to Alonso, well-timed strategy from the Williams team helped him claw back ahead and the FW34’s superior tyre life in the high ambient temperatures allowed Maldonado to pull away from his rival.
Williams returns Maldonado’s victory in Spain put to bed the memories of Williams’ worst season in grand prix history last year.
The team only managed to score a paltry five points across the entire 2011 season, winding up ninth in the constructors’ standings. The team showed resurgence over the winter and took its car back to basics. The team rekindled its technical relationship with Renault,the firm with which it won four drivers’ and five constructors’ titles between 1989 and 1997, ditching its previous Cosworth engines. Williams also hired a new technical team headed by former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan.
While Maldonado said hewas encouraged by the upswing in form, he said the team was staying grounded after the result: “Wemade some big changes in the factory last year and completely changed the approach to building the car,” said Maldonado, who became the first Venezuelan to win a grand prix. “The car has great performance and the potential to become even stronger as the year goes on. It’s great motivation to know that, for both the team andmyself.
“For sure we’re a little backwards on the leaders but we need to keep working. We’re not the best team at the moment. The car looked good today but we need to keep pushing some particulars. The gaps are so close at the moment and I’m driving well and have a good feeling about the team, so anything is possible.
Sir Frank Williams credited the turnaround to the work conducted by the team over the past year. “We’ve got a fresh group of people on board after our troubles of last season and we’ve become awell-balanced team,” he said. “The
“We’ll always strive to do our best and we’re looking forward to being able to fight for more wins and podiums this year hopefully. I’m really happy because the team hasn’t wonmany races in recent years so this is a huge moment for us.”
Williams thanks rivals for firefighting support
TheWilliams team said it was overwhelmed by the support it received from rival teams after a post-race explosion in its pit garage at the Circuit de Catalunya injured 31 people.
Seven people required hospital treatment after the blaze broke out just as the Williams team was celebrating its victory with a team photograph. Members of the nearby Force India and Caterham teams joined Williams personnel in battling the inferno, which is believed to have been caused when a spark from aKERS system ignited some fuel. Williams will conduct a thorough investigation into the exact cause of the fire. Onememberof the Williams team remained in hospital with burns as MNclosed for press onMonday. Williams’ chief operations engineer MarkGillan thanked the other teams for their swift action in helping to tackle the blaze. He said: “Wewere overwhelmed by their support. It was impressive. It was a very serious issue and I am very grateful indeed. Things were limited by the fast response of our team and everyone who helped.” He said that the team had lost some IT equipment during the fire, but that the squad would not have any operational problems at the next grand prix at Monaco onMay
Se vera l team members we re hur t
Fir e e ngulf ed Williams pits
27. The fire is not thought to have damaged the chassis of Bruno Senna’s car, which was in the garage. Gillan added: “We had a lot of damage and we have lost a lot of equipment. Over the next few days, wewill look at where we are parts-wise. Wewill have everything needed to run operationally at Monaco but we may bemissing a few of the little extras because we don’t carry a set of spares for everything.”