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Mixed feelings for Williams drivers

20 July 2012

Williams drivers suffered mixed fortunes on Friday at Hockenheim, with Pastor Maldonado topping the practice two timesheets but both Bruno Senna and Valtteri Bottas enduring a more troubled day on track.

Maldonado, who won the Spanish Grand Prix back in May, edged home favourites Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to finish quickest in FP2 by 0.088s.

The session was dominated by rainy conditions but Maldonado is optimistic of his team's chances should it be wet for the remainder of the weekend.

“It was a challenging practice session for everyone because the track conditions were changing a lot and I was trying to adapt my driving style and the car to best suit those conditions,” Maldonado said.

“We have a good balance in the car in wet conditions, even with a damp track, and the time I set in the second session shows that if it rains tomorrow we will be competitive.”

Senna failed to match his team-mate's pace as he struggled to adapt to the changing conditions and missed out on some valuable track time, leaving him sixteenth.

However, the Brazilian, who only ran in second practice, remains hopeful of a strong weekend.

“It was a bit of a frustrating day because the weather was so changeable,” Senna said. “We started on extreme wets but the track dried out very quickly and we then went on to intermediates where our pace was competitive which is promising. Unfortunately we missed the window to get some good laps in on the drying track but overall the car is feeling good and with a bit more set-up work we can have a good weekend.”

Meanwhile test driver Bottas experienced a rough day at the office when he lost control of the car at the stadium section of the circuit in the first practice session and ended up in the barriers.

“Unfortunately the rain affected what we were testing and we had to adapt to the weather, but we still managed to do quite a few laps and completed most of what we were aiming for,” the Finn said.

“The session ended disappointingly for me when I lost the back end of the car coming into the stadium section, locking the rear when I hit the brakes but I want to thank the team as they did a great job to put the car back together for Bruno's afternoon session.”

by Dan Connor


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