Williams technical director Sam Michael is positive the team will improve in the next few races and believes that Rubens Barrichello's 10th place in the Bahrain Grand Prix was not representative of its competitive level. While the veteran Brazilian scored a point on his debut with Williams, Michael revealed that a number of small problems compromised the performance of the FW32 in the season-opener.
"We had quite a few issues to sort out in the days leading up to the grand prix, and it became apparent early on that we would have some fire-fighting to do in the build-up to the race to ensure we finished on Sunday," Michael explained. "Because of that, we had three or four things on the FW32 in Bahrain that we couldn't change quickly. Most of those elements can be corrected over the next couple of races and that should offer a good step in performance.
"We had some issues during practice but, through a huge amount of effort and late nights put in by the team's mechanics, we managed to keep them contained."
Michael added that while Barrichello set the sixth-fastest race lap, there is more to come from the Cosworth-powered car: "When Rubens set that time, he actually had some damage on his car. We expect to be stronger in forthcoming races."
Michael also expressed himself confident that rookie Nico Hulkenberg will shine in 2010, despite the German spinning on his debut.
"Nico handled himself well," said Michael. "He was quick throughout practice, but then he made a small, but time costly, mistake in qualifying. He then had a bit of a messy race.
"Nico is a smart guy who's developing a great relationship with his engineers, Tom McCullough and Andrew Murdoch, and I know he'll deliver."