F1 »

Williams back down to earth with a bump at Fuji.

After registering his and the team's best result of the season to-date with the runner-up spot in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix a fortnight ago, Nico Rosberg admits that Williams has returned to 'reality' at Fuji – as Kazuki Nakajima was able to give his partisan supporters little to cheer about in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

After scraping through Q1, Nakajima and Rosberg subsequently fell at the Q2 hurdle, each coming up around half a second short of making the cut. Though the former was understandably pleased to have out-qualified his highly-rated team-mate for only the third time during what has been a quietly impressive maiden campaign in Formula 1, still 14th place on the grid was far from what Nakajima may have hoped for ahead of his first 'home' grand prix.

“After a strong run in the practice sessions that was a difficult qualifying,” the 23-year-old rookie commented, “but we did do our best. I don't think that this afternoon's conditions suited the car that much and some traffic interrupted my last run, which didn't help me either. We now need to prepare a good strategy for tomorrow's race.”

Rosberg too was rather nonplussed by 15th place on the grid – his equal third-worst starting spot of 2008 – and admitted that he had come down to earth again with quite a bump after securing the finest result of his fledgling career in the top flight under the spotlights of Singapore, even if he was keen to point out that the weekend was not lost yet.

“It wasn't very nice to qualify 15th today,” the young German rued, “especially having come from Singapore where I finished on the podium, but that's the reality. We've struggled a bit this weekend, but we were expecting to be less competitive here as we just seem to be missing something on these types of circuits.

“I'm keeping my expectations for the race in-check, particularly if it stays dry, but we could have a better chance of doing well if it rains. I'm happy with my qualifying lap, and Kazuki's been doing a really good job all weekend. He's been a little bit quicker than me and I'm pleased for him as he's in front of his home crowd, but this weekend isn't over yet – we'll see what tomorrow brings.”

Williams' nine points in Singapore – its greatest single haul of the year – also brought the multiple world championship-winning Grove-based outfit to within just two markers of Red Bull Racing in the constructors' battle and five of Scuderia Toro Rosso. Technical director Sam Michael is only-too aware that just a handful of points in the last three races could make a big difference come season's end.

“Obviously this isn't the best track for us,” the softly-spoken Australian acknowledged. “We took both cars through to Q2, but we weren't strong enough to get into Q3 here.

“Fuji delivered a very interesting race last year, so we'll now work towards the most advantageous strategies possible for our positions and see if we can't get something out of the race.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams FW30, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 2008
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.