Australian Grand Prix – Race
• Valtteri Bottas moved up two places to finish 14th in the Australian GP on his race debut for the Williams F1 Team.
• Pastor Maldonado’s race came to early end as he lost the car at Turn 1 and ended beached in the gravel.
• The team will now begin work to improve the performance of the FW35 ahead of next weekend’s race in Malaysia.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: It was a difficult race for us. We opted to try two different strategies starting Valtteri on the supersoft option tyre and Pastor on the medium prime. In the end, I don’t think one strategy would have had a big difference in benefit over the other. It was good that Valtteri was able to bring the car home in his first race, but we have work we need to do now as a team to improve the performance. We have some ideas we are taking forward to the next race so we’ll be pushing hard in Malaysia.
Pastor Maldonado: It was a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for myself and the team. The car was not responding as we hoped in the conditions today and unfortunately I lost the back end and ended up in the gravel. We need to work hard to solve the problems in the car to be ready for the next race in Malaysia.
Valtteri Bottas: I had a good start from my grid position and it felt great to be back racing again. A small mistake a few laps in cost me some places though. We got the maximum performance we could from the car today and although the pace isn’t there yet, there are still some positives to take away. The next race is only a week away, so we will work very hard to prepare as best we can and try to score our first points of the season.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: Valtteri had a solid race debut and brought the car home in difficult conditions, but overall this weekend has been disappointing. There are directions we can take to better the pace and we will work with the team to do so before the next race. Fortunately the next race is in just one week so it gives us a good opportunity to improve on this result.