Ralf under pressure at Williams?

Ralf Schumacher's disappointing start to the new season, compounded by his 17th qualifying position in Malaysia, has led to speculation that he is under pressure in the Williams team

Ralf under pressure at Williams?

Asked whether there was something about the new FW25 that made him better able to exploit the car on the limit, team mate Juan Montoya said: "It's really strange. Ralf has got the pace except on the lap that counts and I can't explain that. I don't understand what is going on or what is going through his mind or anything. But it is bad for the team to have a car so far back."

Frank Williams, commenting on whether there was a specific reason why Schumacher Jr has not adapted so well to the single lap qualifying format, said: "I don't think so. The car is quite difficult to set up. When it's quick it's way quick but when it's not quite so finely balanced it is quite difficult to drive. Maybe the pressure is difficult for him. He's in a very tough situation but he can handle it --it's just that it's not working for him at the moment. Certainly Juan is doing a better job at the moment, but that could swing back the other way."

Williams added that in Melbourne eight drivers out of 20 had made mistakes, minor or major, on their Saturday qualifying lap and that it was too early to start jumping to conclusions.

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen admitted that he didn't know which of his drivers to expect to do the better job over one lap: "To me it was absolutely open because what we saw last year was Juan being able to put everything together in one lap but improving from run to run, while Ralf got quite close to his ultimate speed on his first run."

With German tabloid papers running stories concerning Schumacher's personal life, it was suggested that he might not be completely focused in Malaysia, but Williams denied this.

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