Williams believes Bruno Senna has a chance of turning his qualifying struggles around in next weekend's German Grand Prix after an encouraging Silverstone performance.
Senna has lacked qualifying pace throughout his first season at Williams so far, and is yet to start higher than 13th for the squad. The Brazilian's teammate Pastor Maldonado has made four Q3 appearances and inherited pole for the Spanish GP when Lewis Hamilton was penalised, before going on to convert that position into Williams's first Formula 1 victory in nearly eight years.
Although Senna started 13th again in Britain, he drove a strong race to ninth place. Williams's chief operations engineer Mark Gillan believes that performance, combined with a focus on single-lap pace in the team's simulator, will help Senna to perform better on Saturdays from Hockenheim.
"Bruno had a very good race and was particularly strong both at the start and in the last part of the race when he was fighting hard for the ninth place," said Gillan. "We continue to work with Bruno in the simulator and with the race program to help him optimise his qualifying pace and I think that he can take a lot of positives from Silverstone into Hockenheim."
Gillan reckons Senna would have shown better qualifying form in Britain if he had not been caught out by yellow flags for Romain Grosjean spinning his Lotus into the Vale gravel. Senna admitted that he was particularly cautious around the yellows in the wake of his recent issues.
"He was unlucky not to progress into the final qualifying session when his hot timed lap was severely compromised by the yellow flag," said Gillan.