Williams again struggled in qualifying and had trouble getting its cars to the second part of qualifying. Pastor Maldonado qualified 15th with Valtteri Bottas 17th for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Pastor progressed into Q2, pushing to get the maximum he could out of the FW35 today, but after crossing the line in tenth, his time of 1:37.139 left him in 15th as those around him improved. Valtteri didn’t get a perfect lap in Q1 meaning a late run from Ricciardo was enough to knock him out of qualifying in the final stages.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "In a close grid where you only get a single lap in qualifying, any small mistakes are punished. We feel we have a much better set-up for the race on the hard tyre rather than on the soft tyre. We are aiming to deliver a better performance tomorrow. We know we still have more laptime to find but we are working hard at it."
Pastor Maldonado: "I got everything I could out of the car today. I was hoping for a better result but we couldn’t quite put it all together in Q2. It’s not where we want to be so we need to work very hard. We’ve been working hard already but we need time to turn things around. We have a good amount of new tyres for tomorrow and the tyres are very sensitive here, so that could make the race very interesting. Anything can happen tomorrow and we will do our very best."
Valtteri Bottas: "We left the run quite late in Q1 as everyone else also left it late before heading back out and we were waiting for the track conditions to improve. However, with only one lap to get everything right it was quite a difficult situation. The wind conditions made it tricky to get the perfect lap as I was trying to push hard and it’s a new experience for me to have to put everything together in just one lap. The conditions were different to FP3 and I didn’t make the most of qualifying. Now we are focused on getting the strategy right for the race to make the most of the new tyres we have."