Today’s European Grand Prix at Valencia’s 5.44km street circuit yielded four points for the AT&T Williams team as Nico Rosberg scored for the seventh consecutive time this season, eight times overall, with his fifth place finish.
Despite strong progress from 17th on the grid which saw him jump three places in the opening lap, Kazuki Nakajima’s compromised weekend continued as a puncture on lap 38 forced an unscheduled pitstop and returned him to the back of the field. As a precaution, with two laps to go, Kazuki was retired to limit any potential damage to his gearbox as a result of the earlier puncture. Today’s points consolidate the team’s sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship and Nico’s fifth position in the drivers’ standings.
Nico Rosberg: "I did enjoy the race, but the heat really took most of the fun out of it. It wasn’t nice, but it was still a good result for the team. Fifth again, after starting seventh, is not bad, and gives us more points. I was hoping to beat Raikkonen today but he was too fast. Our car seems to suit every track we go to, and the team is doing well to keep development going from race to race. It’s nice that we are always up there and I hope we continue like this, and possibly make a step forward onto the podium soon."
Kazuki Nakajima: "It was another disappointing afternoon for me. It was all over in qualifying really. I was in 13th when I had the puncture and that really finished my race. Just a few laps before the end, I then had some kind of problem so I had to stop early."
Rod Nelson, Chief Operations Engineer: "Kazuki was compromised by his problems in qualifying so we decided to go for a long first stint which was looking reasonable until his puncture. We then had to retire his car early as it had some damage from the puncture which could have harmed the gearbox. Nico drove a strong race. We were hoping to get close to Raikkonen but the second stint wasn’t strong enough which, in turn, brought Alonso into play. We managed the gap to Alonso to keep fifth place which we are happy with."