Paddy Lowe believes it is “not a time to get depressed” at Williams despite the team struggling to its worst Formula 1 qualifying result in more than six years on Saturday in Bahrain.

Williams struggled to 18th and 20th in Q1 with Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll respectively as the team finished nine-tenths of a second off a Q2 berth, sharing the rear two rows of the grid with Sauber.

It will be Williams’ worst starting position since the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello occupied the back row of the grid, starting 23rd and 24th.

Willams made no secret of its car struggles through pre-season and at the opening race in Melbourne when it also suffered a double-Q1 dropout, but Lowe admitted he was surprised by the drop in pace since the last race.

“There are a few things we need to understand where we’re missing performance,” Lowe said. “In terms of the fundamental performance, I think we had a car in pre-season testing that was not quite as quick as we hoped, but it was about the sixth or seventh team ranking from our data, and indeed I think from some other teams having that sort of picture.

“We didn’t get the laps quite together in the right places with each driver, but in our analysis we could see that the pace was around about that position, which is not the position we’ve been aiming for this year. Nevertheless, that’s what it was.

“But here, we’re just in a totally different place which is round about the back. We don’t frankly understand that, and it’s something we’ve been doing a lot of work on since the beginning of the weekend, overnight and all through today.

“I think we made some quite minor progress, but not anything like the progress we needed to make to get back to the level of performance we had in Melbourne.”

Asked how spirits were in the team, Lowe said the drivers remained “cheerful enough” despite the struggles.

“We’re all cheerful. You have to enjoy your work, otherwise you’re just going to go and slit your wrists,” Lowe said.

“It’s not a time to get depressed or anything like that. This is a time where the team gets together and works objectively on the problems that they’re looking at.

“You don’t solve anything by getting depressed or upset about it. You solve it by sitting down and looking at it, breaking it down, going away and solving things bit by bit.”



Loading Comments...