Williams 'happy' with Stroll and Sirotkin despite pointless start

Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW41
© XPB 

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says that the team isn't hiding its current performance issues behind the youth and relative inexperience of its driver line-up.

Williams is the only team to fail to score any points so far in 2018.

Lance Stroll has scored a hat-trick of 14th places in Melbourne, Bahrain and Shanghai. Sergey Sirotkin has back-to-back 15th positions in the most recent outings after retiring in the season opener.

Sirotkin is a rookie with just three races experience. By comparison, Stroll has a full season under his belt and a podium finish in last year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix - even though he's only 20 years old.

“We have two different drivers that are relatively inexperienced," acknowledged Lowe. "But we are very happy with what they are doing.

"It is not causing us any issues. And we would not allow that to distract from the fact that we have not produced a car that is performing correctly, or as we would have intended.”

The team has been criticised for putting sponsorship revenue ahead of competitiveness when deciding its driver-line-up, not least by former driver Felipe Massa.

Whatever the reason, the FW41 has undeniably fallen significantly short of expectations so far.

"In the end everything you do with cars driven by real drivers," Lowe admitted. "You have to factor in the quality of the driver, the effect of the driver, that took your interpretation of that car. And every driver is different.

"We are not where we hoped to be and intend to be in terms of competition," he continued. "But it is of our own making. Clearly what we have done has not been good enough.

"But there is a sense of optimism already that we can make solid progress and rapid progress. We have already started down that road."

Lowe rejected the suggestion that a cloud of gloom and doom was hanging over the team's headquarters in Grove.

"I wouldn’t say that there has been a lot of depression," he said. "That is not the way to dig yourself out of a situation.

"It is about going away, analysing and understanding where you are. Then understanding what you have to do and focusing the organisation around that."

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