The Italian Grand Prix has failed to mark an upturn in Williams’ fortunes as Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas struggled to finish fourteenth and fifteenth respectively.
The team – which has nine constructors’ championships to its name – has scored just one point so far this season thanks to Maldonado’s tenth-place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, making this their worst ever start to a championship. Despite the Venezuelan driver running well during practice earlier this weekend, Maldonado felt that the car simply wasn’t quick enough in the race.
“It was a poor race for us from the beginning because of losing a couple of positions at the start which were then hard to recover,” he explained. “There was little pace from the car, I think we did quite well on the strategy but whatever we did today it was not enough to recover places. It was a disappointing race but I am looking forward to the next one.”
For Valtteri Bottas, the weekend went to plan despite the poor pace of the car.
“I maintained my position at the start but from the first few laps I couldn’t really challenge any of the cars ahead as we just didn’t have the race pace today,” the Finn said. “It was good that we were able to do our planned one-stop, but most of the others did this as well. I’m now looking forward to Singapore; it’s a new track for me so I hope we can do better there.”
Williams will be hoping to bounce back at the only night race on the calendar in Singapore, where Pastor Maldonado qualified on the front row in 2012. However, a repeat performance is unlikely given that the team has mustered just one appearance in Q3 so far this season.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.