In terms of results, 2011 has been Williams’ worst ever start to a season. In response to that, Williams’ Sam Michael (technical director) and Jon Tomlinson (chief aerodynamicist) have resigned with effect from the end of the year. Considering the FW11 was supposed to be a championship challenger, and the great fuss that was made over the tight rear end, the car has simply failed. After winter testing, everyone thought the team’s worst issue would be with KERS, which had caused them the most problems. Instead, both speed and reliability have affected the team. In the first two races, neither driver made it to the end. In China, though Rubens Barrichello managed to hold Sebastien Buemi up, Pastor Maldonado finished behind Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus and Sergio Perez who was suffering the indignity of two drive-through penalties.
Mike Coughlan, who resigned from McLaren after the 2007 ‘Spygate’ scandal (more info here), will be the team’s new chief engineer. His two-year ban from F1 has been expired for some time, so I’m sure he will be glad to get into the sport. Hopefully he will be able to prove himself, and shake off some of the bad image.
In other news, HRT have got a shiny new website hispaniaracing.com. It looks very nice, is a lot easier to navigate, and has a countdown timer. They’ve also launched their ‘HispaToons’ videos, which can be viewed on their Facebook page. They’re weird but funny.
Teams and drivers are on their way to Turkey today and tomorrow, ready to walk around the track on Thursday before the practice sessions begin on Friday. After three weeks, it’s good to have F1 back again.