After two rounds and two double-DNFs, Williams languishes at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship standings in what veteran driver Rubens Barrichello describes as a “horrible” start to the 2011 season.
Despite showing decent pace in pre-season testing, the Cosworth-powered FW33 contenders have run well off the pace at both Australia and Malaysia, where neither Barrichello nor team-mate Pastor Maldonado have managed to qualify into the top-ten.
“It’s sad, but after two trials, that is the right word. We expected a stronger start to the season,” Barrichello told the Brazilian Rede Globo TV network.
“I think there is potential to discover in this car, but the first two races have been horrible,” he added.
Barrichell confirmed that the FW33 is lacking in both straight-line speed and overall reliability.
Meanwhile, the team is looking at some serious work back at its Grove factory to spark a turnaround in the outfit’s fortunes, team chairman Adam Parr has confirmed.
“Like everyone at Williams, I am both surprised and frustrated with our start,” he admitted after the Malaysian race.
“In spite of having an ambitious concept for the FW33, the benefit of continuity with our engine, and moving into our second season with Rubens, we have come up short.
“It is particularly bad in view of our relative strength in pre-season testing and the exceptional amount of work that everyone across Williams has put into this car.”
But Parr denied the team would make sudden reactive changes to counter the problems, but that the team needed to take a longer-term view, particularly in ensuring this is not repeated in 2012.
“We have to understand where we are strong and where we are weak,” he added. “We have had some notable areas of success with the FW33 and we can build on these.
“We also have some promising improvements coming through for Shanghai and Istanbul and we need to see how these perform,” he continued.
It is believed that one of the changes being brought on to the FW33 for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix is a Red Bull-styled exhaust layout.
One doubts this poor start to the season is doing anything to help the team’s share price…
[Original image via LAT]