Williams was left to rue a lack of grip after both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas crashed out of qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix at the first hurdle.

For the fourth time this season, neither driver was able to make it through to Q2 as the Grove-based team continued to perform below par.

Maldonado had earlier posted the twelfth best time in final practice but despite admitting traffic had been an issue, the Venezuelan admitted the speed just wasn't there after he could only qualify down in 18th spot - one place behind his rookie team-mate.

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"I struggled with traffic in my last sector which cost me some time on my final run, but we just didn't have the speed to get through to Q2 today and I was having trouble getting grip from the tyres," he said.

"Our long-run pace has looked better this weekend so that is a positive we can focus on ahead of the race, and I will be fighting hard tomorrow to improve our position."

Chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar admitted qualifying had been a disappointment but said both drivers could fight back on race day.

"In FP3 we tried a couple of different things across the cars but both drivers ended the session happier with the balance," he said. "Pastor did an especially good lap on the option tyres and whilst Valtteri wasn't able to get a clean lap in, we were more optimistic for qualifying. However we did not get the same sort of grip levels from the tyres in Q1 as we saw in FP3, which we need to look at to understand before tomorrow.

"The laptimes were tight and so we didn't manage to get into Q2. Everyone is so close this weekend so now we need to look forward to the race to see if we can recover some positions and get close to the top ten. There is still chance for light rain in the race which could also give more opportunities for strategy to come into play."