Mika Salo has backed Williams to significantly improve its car. It has been a nightmare start to the 2018 season for the once-great British team. First, critics blasted Williams' decision to pair young pay-drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, and then it emerged that the new car is among the very slowest on the grid.
"I was happy with my race," Stroll said after Bahrain. "Obviously I wanted a better result." The 19-year-old finished just ahead of his Russian teammate Sirotkin, who was dead last. Stroll told Le Journal de Montreal: "We currently have the slowest car, and I am confident I have made the most of it. In the current situation, it's the best I could do. My consolation is to have beaten my teammate," he added.
Technical boss Paddy Lowe, having earlier been spotted in a tense meeting with Stroll's father and backer Lawrence Stroll, admitted Williams has problems. "We did not have the pace to do other than fight amongst ourselves," he said. "We need to do an examination and find solutions, even if we have little time."
Former F1 driver Salo, who works closely with Sirotkin and his backers at SMP Racing, said: "On paper and in aerodynamic numbers, the car looks pretty good. Much better than last year."
The Finn told the broadcaster C More that a big problem for Williams is making the softer tyres work. "Yes, the team needs to find something to improve," Salo admitted. "Luckily they have good engineers like Paddy Lowe and Rob Smedley. "If they can't find the solutions, no one can." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing