RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Williams' Rob Smedley has revealed the team will be forced to switch seat belt suppliers after the device worked loose in Valtteri Bottas' car during the Singapore Grand Prix.
The team currently use Willans as a supplier for their seat belts, but Bottas was forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop during the Singapore GP after belt worked loose for reasons he could not explain.
As a result, Smedley says Williams has no choice but to drop Willans in favour of OMP going forward for the safety of its drivers.
“Unless you find a fault with the buckle, seat belts very rarely - I mean never – come undone, so something else has happened to make it come undone” Smedley said.
“Whatever has forced the seat belt open after 30-odd laps, whether that's Valtteri inadvertently catching it with his glove or his overalls riding up, or something like that, that should never, ever happen.
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“For the safety of the drivers that is of paramount importance, over and above everything including reliability, the performance of the car.
“Whatever way you want to look at it, we're all racers, and at the end of the day the safety of the drivers in general is the absolute number one priority.
“We're going to be testing another manufacturer at the next grand prix, which is the earliest we could do that, and then with a view - if everything's all right - to race with them in America.”
Bottas spoke of the mishap on Thursday and said that it wasn't the first time that his seat belt had come loose in a grand prix, citing the 2014 Brazilian GP as another instance where he had experienced the problem.
“It's not the first time this happened, it happened to me two years ago in Brazil so we definitively need to make some changes and that's what we're going to do,” the Finn said.
“I did less than one lap [with the loose belt in Singapore], and it was OK. You obviously try not to crash but I didn't slow down much.”
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