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Mat Coch writes:
Historically there's only been one rule within the Williams team; don't take your teammate off. Everything else is fair game in intra-team squabbles, provided they follow that one simple rule.
During the closing stages of the United States Grand Prix, Bruno Senna was closing on Nico Hulkenberg's Force India with Pastor Maldonado stalking them both. For a while the Williams pair ran line astern before the instruction came from the pit wall that Maldonado was free to attack his teammate.
The Venezuelan, who has been the subject of jibes from fellow racers for some brash and aggressive moves during the season, wasted no time. Heading up the hill in to the first corner he made a late, seemingly desperate dive for the inside line.
"It was close but I needed to do that because I was quicker than him and quicker than Hulkenberg at the same time," said Maldonado after the race."We are fighting in the championship with Force India," he added. "It was very important to attack them at the end."
Wheel-to-wheel the Williams pair entered the corner, the faintest of kisses between their Pirelli tyres the sum of the bold manoeuvre.
"I knew he was going to try a lunge and I didn't close the door because there was a risk of taking both cars out of the race," said a circumspect Senna. "I think both of us are racing for points and some of us sometimes take chances."
Maldonado seized ninth place, setting off in pursuit of Hulkenberg in eighth. His efforts however were in vain and the Williams driver ran out of laps handing Williams a ninth and tenth place finish - the same result it would have likely had even if Maldonado had not attacked.
Nonetheless, in the internal tug of war at Williams, where neither driver is confirmed for 2013, Maldonado struck a psychological blow to his Brazilian teammate. Most importantly neither Senna nor Maldonado broke Williams cardinal rule, even if they bent it a little.
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