|© Charles Coates/LAT Photographic/Williams
Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado qualified only 18th for this season’s edition of the race on Saturday.
The Venezuelan was not only eliminated in the first leg of qualifying but was also edged out by rookie teammate Valtteri Bottas, who got knocked out in Q1 as well.
“We’re having a difficult time with the car at the moment,” said Maldonado who started last season's race from pole position. “We were missing a lot of grip which made it difficult to get a good time.”
The 28-year-old driver also troubled Jenson Button during the session when he held up the McLaren on the track.
“Massively held up by the Williams in the last sector,” Button radioed his team. “(He has) got to get a penalty"
BBC journalist Andrew Benson revealed on his Twitter page that the Williams driver was psyching himself up before the session began.
"He's been shouting at a picture of himself with last year's winning trophy to motivate himself for qually,” Benson wrote.
Williams has been struggling this season and is yet to score a point. The team said in a statement that the cars did not have enough pace to proceed further in qualifying.
“Our race pace is more competitive than what we have shown today so we still aim to fight for points in the race,” said technical director Mike Coughlan.