Williams technical director Mike Coughlan says that his team can bounce back from a disappointing start to the season in Australia and aim for a double points finish in Malaysia.
Valtteri Bottas qualified in sixteenth place in Melbourne and raced to fourteenth place, ahead of only the Marussia and Caterham drivers. Team-mate Pastor Maldonado failed to make Q2 and spun off during the race.
“Following a difficult opening to the season in Australia, the team has regrouped and been working hard to solve the problems we encountered last weekend,” said Coughlan.
“We have a good idea where to focus our efforts and learnt a lot in Melbourne which we will implement in Malaysia to continue working to improve the performance of the FW35 throughout Friday testing and into the weekend. The Sepang circuit is a technical challenge which is always quite hard on tyres.”
“The high ambient temperatures and humidity also make it a tough race for the drivers, with the weather also playing its part with late afternoon showers common and forecast over the weekend. Our aim is to move forward from where we were last weekend, with a view to end the race with both cars in points-scoring positions.”
Maldonado admitted that the team is currently not where they need to be.
“I had a disappointing Australian Grand Prix and the car isn’t quite where we hoped it would be, but we will be working hard to unlock the potential that we saw in testing,” said the Venezuelan.
Team-mate Bottas added that he was encouraged by his own performance in Australia.
“The fast corners in the second sector of the track are the most challenging because it’s really hot for the tyres and in these high temperatures you need to be careful not to degrade them too quickly,” said the Finn.
“I learnt a lot from my first Grand Prix in Australia and whilst we weren’t as competitive as we had hoped, the fact that I brought the car home safely in my first race is a positive I can take away and we will now be looking to improve on our performance for this race.”