While returning to the points was a welcome break for Williams and Nico Rosberg after a couple of disappointing races, the German still reckons that the result under-sells the potential of the FW31 in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Having made the final ten-man shoot-out in qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya, Rosberg was confident of being able to add to the 3.5 points already accrued in 2009, and immediately gained a couple of places despite a close call with Jarno Trulli's Toyota that eventually led to the Italian spinning and causing chaos in his wake. Running in seventh spot, however, the German ran into handling problems that preventing him from exploiting the full potential of his mount.
"I had a very good first few laps but, after ten laps or so, I started to experience a problem at the rear of the car which I've had all weekend," he reported, "Something inexplicable would just happen and affect the balance which caused a lot of oversteer. Oddly enough, it would then be okay again but, as this was happening throughout much of the race, I couldn't really push - and that really hurt me."
Ironically, where the majority of the frontrunners were forced to re-evaluate their gameplans after the safety car intervention to clear away the remains of Trulli's accident, Rosberg should have benefited from the slowed early pace. However, the unpredictability of his handling denied what could have been a season's best result.
"I really believe we could have taken fifth place today, but things didn't go too well," Rosberg sighed, "Going home with one point is always positive though, and we should have a good car in Monaco, so I think we'll have the chance to get a good result there."
Team-mate Kazuki Nakajima was never a threat in the race after he became embroiled in the second corner incident which removed Trulli, both Toro Rossos and Adrian Sutil's Force India. Requiring a premature pit-stop for a new nose and a change in strategy, the Japanese rejoined at the back of the pack, but was unable to improve any further than 13th.
"Although we were in the points today, it was frustrating not to get more out of the race, particularly as the safety car on the first lap gave our strategy a good advantage over the cars in front," director of engineering Patrick Head summed up.