Williams fire investigation still ongoing says Gillan

Williams chief operating engineer Mark Gillan says the team is still assessing the damage following Sunday’s pit fire in Barcelona – and has yet to determine the cause.

The fire started right behind the area where all the telemetry equipment and servers were located, and Gillan confirmed that replacing the IT infrastructure in time for Monaco is a major challenge.

“I would like to reiterate our thanks to everyone in the paddock who helped the Williams team on Sunday to control the fire," Gillan said in a team Q&A. “There were a number of people who attended the circuit medical centre, mostly as the result of smoke inhalation. One team member remains in hospital having suffered burns, but he is in a stable condition and in good spirits and has returned to England today for further medical care.

“Investigations into the actual cause of the fire are ongoing and are being performed in collaboration with the local authorities and the FIA. The extent of the damage is still being accessed and will not become fully clear until both the cars and equipment have returned to the factory. What is clear is that our garage IT equipment and infrastructure have been badly damaged.

“On the back of a win we go to Monaco with high hopes but there is a prodigious amount of work to be done prior to the event to recover from the fire."

Gillan also praised Pastor Maldonado for his superb drive: “Simply stunning – a master class from start to finish. He was strong all weekend, winning the race from pole despite a strong challenge from Alonso. One can’t ask anymore from a driver.

“This is a massive result for Williams and of course it is incredibly satisfying, especially given the tribulations of the 2011 season. However, this business is all about continuous improvement and it is important that we continue to deliver." Adam Cooper F1 blog

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