Smedley says no panic at Williams F1 team despite missed chances

Rob Smedley says there is "no panic" at Williams, despite missing chances to score podiums in the first three races of the new Formula 1 season

Smedley says no panic at Williams F1 team despite missed chances

The Williams FW36 was one of the pacesetters during pre-season testing, but various issues have conspired to keep the Williams drivers off the rostrum in the early races.

Rear grip issues compromised Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas in wet qualifying for the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix, forcing them to race through from lower-than-expected grid positions.

Bottas almost certainly would have been on the podium in Melbourne, but for clouting a wall and puncturing a rear tyre.

And a team orders controversy prevented either Williams beating Jenson Button's McLaren to a top six result at the Sepang circuit.

The Williams drivers qualified better in dry conditions in Bahrain, but rear tyre thermal degradation issues meant they slipped back in the race and again did not score as many points as looked possible before the start.

Ex-Ferrari engineer Smedley, who recently took up a new position as head of vehicle performance at Williams, said there was no need for the Grove-based team to be concerned about underachievement in the early races.

"We scored the optimum result for where we are," he said.

"We've done that consistently for three races, around sixth to seventh position.

"There's no panic, the development drive is on, as it is for everybody, and there's a whole new structure around Williams, trying to keep the good bits and trying to improve on it.

"That goes for the windtunnel too. There's no panic in the team, we just have to keep doing what we're doing."

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