Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams is trying to take the positives out of the team’s Q1 exit today in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, believing that the tight field is to blame for the result.
Twelve months ago, Pastor Maldonado started the race from pole position, but he could only qualify 18th today, one place behind teammate Valtteri Bottas. Although Williams is not pleased with the result, she does not believe that a crisis is ensuing.
“This isn’t quite 2012 is it?” Williams said to Sky Sports. “It is really disappointing.
“We are still trying to get on top of the situation and a lot of work is going on back at the factory. It takes a long time to turn things around in Formula 1,” she explained.
The result will come as a great blow to the team, especially after spending much of the three week break working on upgrades for the FW35, but Williams still has faith that the car is capable of some good results.
“I don’t think it is an inherently bad race car, it is just that the field is so tight at the minute and we were just a tenth away from getting both drivers into Q2.”
Bottas did finish just 0.042 seconds behind Esteban Gutierrez, yet the result is still a disastrous one for the team. Unlike McLaren, who are suffering from correlation issues, Williams have been struggling with their aerodynamic set up.
“I am not sure it is necessarily a correlation issue. We just really need to look at the aerodynamics of the car and it is a work in progress.”
Undoubtedly, there will be an inquiry into the team’s performance in qualifying today, although they will take hope from Bottas’ spirited race runs so far this season.
Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider
Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.
“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.
“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”
Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”
Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.
Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.
The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.
Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.