Date: 21st March 2013 at 9:27am
Written by:

It wasn’t just McLaren who were a big disappointment in Australia during the opening round of the new Formula One season.

The Williams team also had an extremely poor weekend. Rookie Valtteri Bottas was lapped on route to finishing 14th, whilst Maldonado touched the grass and spun off into the gravel and was forced to retire.

It wasn’t the debut Williams had in mind for the FW35.

Last season the FW34 provided Williams with their first Grand Prix victory since Juan Pablo Montoya won the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Pastor Maldonado’s maiden victory in Spain last year showed how much development the team had made from the previous 2011 season when Maldonando and then team-mate Rubens Barrichello managed to string together just three points paying finishes all season.

Of course the Venezuelans victory was in part to the Pirelli tyres and Williams striking it lucky with set-up to find the sweet spot, but an uncompetitive car will never win a race purely because of tyres.

A team can however struggle purely because of tyres and Williams, along with McLaren struggled in this area last weekend.

‘We are disappointed with the performance and I don’t want to blame the tyres, We have got some issues with the car but we’ve got some direction and we’ve been looking at the data. Williams technical director Mike Coughlan told Autosport Magazine.

‘This is the first time we’ve had running at a track like Melbourne and we did learn things.

‘We have some plans moving forward and we will implement them for Malaysia.

‘Certainly, Malaysia will be an interesting Friday for us.’

The Williams, like a few of the teams on Sunday struggled to get the most out of both sets of Pirelli tyres with significant loses in performance when switching tyres. The team also struggled with wear and degradation. But the predicted higher temperatures in Malaysia should come to Williams’ aid.

Do not forget to enter the Vital F1 Prediction Competition!

Entries must be made before qualifying begins – CLICK HERE.