Williams team and drivers report from qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Round 1 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship.
- Valtteri Bottas will start 16th with Pastor Maldonado 17th for the Australian GP later today.
- Heavy rain hampered yesterday’s qualifying session, meaning that Q2 and Q3 resumed on race day.
- Both drivers found it difficult to get the performance out of the FW35 during Q1 with Pastor unable to progress into Q2.
- When Q2 resumed on Sunday, Valtteri pushed hard on the intermediates, but the team’s gamble to switch to the supersoft tyres didn’t pay off and he was unable to improve on his lap time.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: It was a difficult qualifying to start the season for us and we are not where we want to be. Yesterday we struggled in the rain with Pastor qualifying 17th but we are working hard to figure out where our problems are. When the session resumed with Valtteri today, we gambled on a move to the supersoft tyres for his final run in Q2, but the track just didn’t dry fast enough for us. We have good race pace though so we are now focusing on that and we’ll be fighting hard to deliver some points.
Valtteri Bottas: It wasn’t the easiest qualifying session to start my Formula One career. It was good to get through Q1 yesterday but the conditions were tricky again today as it was getting drier all the time. We tried the supersoft tyre, but unfortunately it didn’t allow us to improve our lap time. We will now focus on getting ready for the race later and will aim to do our best to get into a points-scoring position.
Pastor Maldonado: It was a difficult qualifying session for us yesterday as the car had very little grip and the conditions were not favourable. We have been working hard to prepare the car for the race and there is still more work to do this season. Our long run pace should mean that we can make up some places from our grid position though so this is now our focus.