Williams thankful to be in Monaco
THANKFUL TO BE IN MONACO: The Williams F1 team is thankful just to be in Monaco after fire gutted the team's equipment after the 2012 Spanish F1 GP.
Author: Tim Collings
MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Following its dramatic fire-shrouded triumph at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, Williams will seek more glory at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Pastro Maldonado's maiden triumph at the Circuit de Catalunya was marred by a post-race blaze which destroyed the team's garage equipment so the team has been thanking its rivals for their assistance to make sure that they can compete in the Mediterranean principality.
GUTTED BUT NOT BROKEN
Williams engineering chief Mark Gillan praised not only his own staff for their great effort but the help from others, in making sure that the team can take their place in the pit lane in Monaco.
Gillan said: "Our preparations for Monaco have been hampered by the garage fire, but also the impact of the fire was eased by what can only be described as a Herculean effort by the factory and our suppliers to restock both the damaged equipment and our car parts.
"We would like to thank the generous offers of help from the other teams, highlighting once more the excellent sportsmanship that exists in Formula One and the high levels of camaraderie in the pit lane," he said.
Williams lost nearly all of their garage infrastructure and their IT equipment in the blaze that gutted the garage less than two hours after Maldonado had become the first Venezuelan to win a Formula 1 race.
The team's victory not only supplied a fifth different race winner in five races in 2012, but also lifted the rookie as a serious contender for more success.
Gillan said: "We have more upgrades on the way for this event and we are hopeful that we can continue to make decent progress and look forward, again, to a good weekend."
To win, of course, Maldonado will have to qualify as well as he did in Barcelona because anything less, on the unforgiving streets of this tight, twisty and hugely-challenging street circuit, reduces race-winning chances dramatically.
After his early season speed in qualifying, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will be among the favourites along with his team mate Jenson Button,and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel won in 2011 extending Red Bull's domination in Monaco to two straight wins following Mark Webber's spectacular win in 2010.
Lotus and Ferrari will also fancy their chances with two time champion Fernando Alonso especially keen to do well and stay among the leaders in the drivers' world championship.
TIED IN THE LEAD
Ferrari team president Luca di Montezemolo said he believes the Italian squad's fate in the championship is now back in their own hands after Alonso finished a rousing second behind Maldonado in Spain.
The result of the race means that Alonso is now tied in the lead with Vettel on 61 points.
Di Montezemolo said: "The championship is very open and so far, there has not been one dominant force. A series of circumstances and the work done here to improve the car, as well as Alonso's great ability, has led to us leading the championship after five rounds.
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