Smedley: Williams has work to do to stay at the front of Formula 1

Williams has to develop the whole car package and improve operations if it is to remain a Formula 1 frontrunner, according to performance chief Rob Smedley

Smedley: Williams has work to do to stay at the front of Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas finished the Malaysian Grand Prix 70 seconds behind Ferrari's race winner Sebastian Vettel in fifth, with the Finn's team-mate Felipe Massa sixth.

The team ended 2014 as the second-fastest outfit on merit behind world champions Mercedes, however the race in Malaysia highlighted the fact it has arguably dropped behind Ferrari to third.

"We need to develop the whole package from the back," said Smedley.

"We just have to keep pushing on and make sure we are developing at a faster rate than them."

Williams struggled with tyre management in the hot conditions at Sepang and was forced into doing three pit stops while Ferrari was able to make two.

"There's a car package pace deficit from both Mercedes and Ferrari and we have to work hard to improve that," said Smedley. "At the same time, we need to look at our tyre management.

"I think that we were not the worst on using the tyres, but we certainly weren't the best.

"Why were there cars in the race which could do one less stop than us? That's a key point. It's not that we looked at it afterwards and said, 'oh we could have done one less stop' because we couldn't."

Williams spent a whole day of pre-season testing working on pitstops to improve the team operationally, but there were mistakes on both cars in Malaysia.

"We have work to do," Smedley added. "We have to improve the consistency of the pitstops as we had some good pitstops but then both cars had some slow pitstops.

"The positive thing is they were two problems which we haven't encountered before.

"One was getting the tyre blanket off during the double pitstop, so it's a procedural thing, we just didn't take the blanket off quick enough.

"The second one was with Felipe. The jack didn't engage properly on the rear crash structure so we didn't get the rear of the car off.

"We have got to go away and look at it and understand what has happened and tidy up and make sure it doesn't happen again."

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