Rubens Barrichello has praised the what he called the "brave" efforts of new Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan, who had his first race in charge at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
Gillan has been brought in to try and turn around Williams' fortunes amid its worst-ever season in F1, and he can already see areas where the team can make good progress. Barrichello believes that Gillan has already made his mark at the team, and says he is enjoying working with him.
"The team has the basis of what Sam [Michael, previous technical director] did in the past, and now it is early days for Mark," Barrichello said. "He has been putting good words and been brave to stand up for the problems we are having, and we are having a good time."
Barrichello thinks that one of the key things Williams must achieve in 2011 is in ending the season at an operational level where it can exploit any improvements that come from its car next year.
"The most important thing is to try and get everything together in a good way," he said. "I want Mike Coughlan, I want Jason Somerville, I want Mark Gillan to understand what has been happening through the year – what I have been shouting about and why there are situations that are worse than others.
"Of course, there are still new faces, but they are learning quite quickly what the problems are. Next year's car is going to be a totally different beast, but there are some situations that we still need to improve within everyone and the factory, and that cannot happen next year. So I think we have a good group together and they are changing things."
Barrichello believes there is still room to bring improvements to the car for this year, though, with an upgrade package likely for the Indian Grand Prix.
"It is not a lot of things, but there are situations that are still allowing us to improve the car, as we go along. There is a big push from the team to try and get things done, to get more performance and more points to improve our situation in the constructors'," he said.
"There is some stuff that is coming for India, which is nice to hear, but this car has not been competitive, so it is going to be very difficult to change from night [to] day. But if we have some stuff and some tracks that might suit us, we might just score big time."