Formula 1 rookie Sergey Sirotkin says that he and his Williams team "looked like idiots" after a poor Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sirotkin and teammate Lance Stroll started 18th and 20th, and finished in the reverse order on the road in 16th and 17th, although they subsequently gained places from time penalties handed to Sergio Perez and Brendon Hartley.
Despite the lack of pace from the car – which was slower than last year – Sirotkin tried to be upbeat.
"A tough feeling after a tough weekend," said the Russian.
"I know we looked like idiots from the outside, this is quite obvious to me.
"And probably the fact that I tried to find some positive in it will sound a bit weird, but I do see some positives.
"Partly for me, partly for the job I did as a driver. Partly with the learning I did as a driver, and learning we did as a team. I see some positives.
"Yes, we definitely looked bad in the results in the race, probably even worse than in qualifying. It is better not even to think about it.
"But the good point is that even if it went worse that it was, at least we kind of see more, start to understand the things more. Even if it goes worse we start to understand why is this and why is that."
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Sirotkin said the poor form came as a surprise.
"If you just look at the car, we all agree that it looks like well detailed and well designed car.
"We obviously know, because we build the car, we know even more from the inside, so for us it is very big surprise, why we don't get the numbers we want to get, why they are not coming."
Williams technical boss Paddy Lowe admitted that he's struggling to get to the bottom of what's gone wrong with the package, and says that it's time for the team to pull together.
"There's a lot of things to understand," he told Motorsport.com. "We've got to go away and work very hard on that. At least we have more data now.
"Something's gone wrong since Melbourne. Even there we weren't in great shape – but nothing like today. We'll see what we can learn in the next few days before we arrive in China.
"There's nothing obvious – we've done all the obvious things. If we knew the answer we wouldn't be in this situation right now. We're just not looking quick.
"It's a time for the team to pull together, stay calm and go away and do the right amount of work in the right areas and see what we can do for China."
Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov