Williams expects stronger race form

Williams technical director Sam Michael is hopeful that his team will show stronger pace in today's Malaysian Grand Prix than it did in qualifying

Williams expects stronger race form

Rubens Barrichello could manage only 15th in qualifying, setting a time just over 2.5 seconds off Sebastian Vettel's pole position, with team-mate Pastor Maldonado failing to make Q2 by over half a second.

"Qualifying was not good for us," Michael told AUTOSPORT. "We know that our long-run pace is better than our qualifying pace, but we didn't expect to have a car out in Q1.

"It was tight, but we should have been fighting for the top 10 and we are four or five tenths off that.

"I want to see where our race pace is because our long-run speed has been pretty good on a lot of fuel. That was definitely the case in Melbourne, but we didn't have a proper qualifying session because of the problems we had and it is difficult to know what has happened."

Michael is unsure of the reason for Williams's struggles in qualifying, but suggested that getting the Pirelli tyres to work in low-fuel trim could be part of the problem.

"When you are that far off, normally it comes down to getting the tyres working. Small amounts of load and changes to the car can make quite a lot of difference."

Barrichello admitted that he is puzzled by the FW33's lack of pace, suggesting that a straightline speed deficit could be part of the problem.

"We don't understand why we are so slow on speed, not just in terms of performance, but also in the speed traps," he said, and suggested that the DRS of the Williams might not be as strong as that of some of the team's rivals.

"We know that we have small problems to fix, but we never thought that this would be the case.

"I don't know if the other teams are finding a way of having more speed with the DRS. In sector two, we are quite competitive but not in sectors one and three, which depend more on straightline speed.

"I don't know if we took a step backwards because in Barcelona the car was very stable and I knew what we had. That's a similar track to Malaysia, although maybe you have more straights here."

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