Sam Michael explains what caused the two retirements in the Monaco GP
Can you tell us what caused the accidents that put Rubens and Nico out of the race?
Rubens had a rear suspension failure. We have a good idea which part is suspect, but to be completely sure, we need to await the results of materials tests back at the factory. However, it won’t be an issue going forward. Nico had a clutch paddle sensor failure on the grid. He then touched the back of the HRT car in turn 1 and this damaged the front wing mounting pillars. When he entered the tunnel, the front wing eventually failed and he understeered off into the wall.
Were they new components?
The actual parts that failed in the race were not new designs and they have been on the car since the start of the season.
How does this accident damage affect the team’s preparations for the next Grand Prix?
Of course we have a significant amount of workload to replace the damaged parts such as the diffusers and the front wings. However, both chassis were undamaged, which is positive.
Rubens was heading for a solid points finish until his retirement; how competitive was the FW32 in Monaco?
The FW32 was good in Monaco, certainly an improvement on the previous race, but we acknowledge that we have still got work to do to be more competitive.
None of the teams suffered from excessive tyre wear. Do you think Bridgestone was too conservative with the compounds they brought?
All of the Bridgestone tyres are extremely durable, so we didn’t expect wear problems at any point.
Looking ahead to Turkey, how do you think the FW32 will perform?
I am confident that our relative race pace will be an improvement on Barcelona, but as ever much depends on how the other teams manage to move forward too. But I can be confident that our direction of development is moving the right way.
Will you have any performance upgrades at the race?
Yes, we do have an upgrade plane for Istanbul, but our first priority at the moment is to consolidate the repairs on both race cars in the first place.
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