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Retirements hit Williams and Marussia in Bahrain

There were surprisingly few retirements in Bahrain, but try telling that to Williams - which saw both drivers go out - or Marussia Racing which suffered its first DNF of 2012.
Even though there were a number of incidents during the Bahrain Grand Prix, the technical reliability of almost all of the cars was impressive despite this being at the end of a gruelling seven week flyaway period for both teams and equipment.

Only two cars were officially listed as out of the final classification, while two more came into pit lane and parked before the chequered flag, including McLaren's Jenson Button.

The first retirement of the day came on lap 24 when Charles Pic became the first DNF for Marussia Racing in 2012, and then a lap later Williams' Pastor Maldonado spun after his tyre burst, leaving him limping back to the pits with too much damage to continue.

"I had a puncture in the exit of turn 1 and then spun on the straight," explained Maldonado. "I'm disappointed for the team as the performance was there. Starting from the back of the pack I was fighting every lap, the car was responding well and I was able to make up many positions. I feel today we could have scored more points but unfortunately it wasn't to be."

His team mate Bruno Senna also pulled into pit lane before the end, although he was still classified in 22nd place.

"Towards the end I started feeling a lot of vibration in the brake pedal," he said after the race. "The engineers were looking at it, so I kept pushing as you never know what will happen, but the vibration got worse and the decision was made to pit to avoid risking an accident."

Charles Pic's mid-race retirement a lap before Maldonado's was also rather less spectacular than the Venezuelan's exit from the race, simply pulling the Marussia over to the side of the track and climbing out on lap 24.

"Naturally I am disappointed, as the race was tough but I was quite happy with the car and managing the tyre wear quite well," said Pic. "I was still able to push and I think we were sitting quite well versus the pace of the Caterhams.

"Unfortunately on lap 24 I had a problem with the Air Valve System and I had no option but to retire the car, which is frustrating for me and the team as they have worked very hard to keep us moving forward here all weekend."

It's a real shame that the as yet undiagnosed AVS problem on the engine forced an early retirement during a period of the race where Charles was very competitive with respect to the cars that he was racing," added Marussia team principal John Booth.





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