It's been an encouraging yet rather difficult start to the 2007 season for Williams, with a better level of competitiveness than last year but only one point in two races to show for the hard work. Over the winter Williams was a bit of an unknown...
It's been an encouraging yet rather difficult start to the 2007 season for Williams, with a better level of competitiveness than last year but only one point in two races to show for the hard work. Over the winter Williams was a bit of an unknown quantity; although the testing pace looked good there was the disaster of 2006 shadowing the team.
However, although Alex Wurz retired early on in Australia due to an accident, Nico Rosberg picked up that one point with seventh place. The mixed fortunes continued last weekend in Malaysia when Rosberg qualified a good sixth but Wurz suffered a technical problem and was a lowly 20th.
Come the Sepang race and the situation was reversed as Rosberg was forced to retire from sixth with a technical issue just a dozen laps from the chequered flag. Wurz, on the other hand, climbed up to ninth from near the back and was a little disappointed to not get into the points.
Technical director Sam Michael talked about improving reliability in a review of Malaysia. "The weekend was one of contrasts in many respects, from the changing fortunes of the drivers to the marked improvements we have made with the car, but yet the disappointment caused by Nico's race retirement," he said.
"It was a tough weekend, as it followed a long test and the track conditions had changed -- which is normal. That meant we had to move the setup quite a lot during the race weekend, but perseverance paid off and we found a good optimisation by Saturday morning."
"On the plus side, we have moved the car forward to be able to qualify it at a level more reflective of our race pace but on the other hand we have some work to do to ensure reliability does not compromise all this hard work. We have made significant improvements to our reliability over the winter, but we are not there yet."
Rosberg, naturally, was disappointed to not finish the race after a good overall performance at Sepang, but is optimistic for this coming weekend's event at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit. "I expect a good weekend and we must succeed in achieving what we missed out on in Malaysia," he commented.