Williams suspects that a bump on the Yas Marina circuit was to blame for the suspension problem that put Valtteri Bottas out of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Bottas had gone in to the F1 finale hoping to help his team wrest fourth place in the constructors' championship from rivals Force India.
Although teammate Felipe Massa was able to score two points in his final F1 race, Bottas was forced out early on with a rear suspension problem.
Technical chief Pat Symonds said that initial data analysis had suggested the problem was the result of the track surface rather than any contact with another car or a kerb.
"We saw a big bump," explained Symonds. "We think it's probably similar to what happened in America in 2015. We won't know until we strip everything, because there was a lot of containment in place after that incident to try and stop that sort of thing from happening again. It does look quite similar."
Symonds said that conversations with Bottas suggested he had not run off the track at all – but it still remained strange that a circuit like Yas Marina should cause problems.
"Yeah it was a particular bump which looks like it triggered it," he said. "Abu Dhabi is quite bumpy but it should be able to handle it quite easily."
With Massa rounding off his Williams career with two points for ninth place, Symonds said the team could not be too disheartened with the form it showed.
"I thought we did reasonably well this weekend relative to Force India," he said. "We still lack a little bit of raw pace, but we were much better on our tyres than they were, which is why we were able to catch up.
"We were never going to get excited about racing the bottom end of the top 10, but the way the last part of the season's gone, it's been one of the better races."