Despite finally adding to its season's tally after two fallow races, Williams admits that it should still be doing better than it is, and acknowledges that it shouldn't just be Nico Rosberg making the top eight.
After unrewarding races in China and Bahrain, Rosberg brought home one point from the opening European round in Barcelona, but team-mate Kazuki Nakajima's race was compromised from the outset after another frustrating qualifying performance saw him caught up in a first lap collision that forced a premature pit-stop for a new nose.
Data from practice suggested that both cars should have made it into Q3 on Saturday afternoon, but a slower than expected pace during both drivers' early Q1 runs forced the team to use up the preferred option tyres for Q2 to ensure a place in Q3. The decision paid off for Rosberg, as he made it - and, at the end of the session, claimed P9 - but Nakajima narrowly missed out on a place in the top ten shoot-out by several hundredths of a second, leaving him in P11 on the grid and vulnerable to the chaos caused by Rosberg and Jarno Trulli's near miss that prompted the Italian to spin into the pack.
"That incident caused damage to Kazuki's front wing end plate, so we had to pit him for a new front wing assembly," technical director Sam Michael revealed, "But, because the safety car was deployed, it fortunately didn't cost him as much time as it could have done."
Both drivers started the race on a conventional two-stop strategy and fuelled relatively long for their first stints. Having become embroiled in the first lap incident, however, Nakajima's strategy, and indeed race, was still compromised by the stop, which put him at the back of the field and out of contention for points.
Rosberg's race wasn't without issues either, as inconsistent handling cost him a place to Fernando Alonso and traffic ahead of his second stop handed another to Nick Heidfeld, leaving him in eighth at the finish.
"Nico secured a point for the team, but we really need to be getting both
cars in the points more regularly than we are if we're going to improve upon our position in the constructors' standings," Michael admitted, "Nico's lap times were somewhat inconsistent too, and we are now looking carefully through all of the data and bodywork parts to determine what caused that.
"There were some positives from this weekend, however, in that it was encouraging to be only 0.3secs off the quickest time during Q2 in qualifying, particularly on a track where aerodynamics are the key, and the upgrade package which we brought to the race worked as expected. We brought various aerodynamic upgrades to Spain for both cars as part of our planned development programme, and our base performance step was good."
The season so far has been one of disappointment for Williams in that the FW31 has appeared to be more potent that its points tally shows and, with the diffuser row now settled, it is entirely possible that the Grove outfit will slip further down the performance pecking order as rivals get to grips with their own 'double decker' designs.
"Team order is always clear by your position in the constructors' standings," Michael insisted as the team prepares for the lottery of Monaco, "Even if we think we have a faster car than how we currently stand in that table, the constructors' order is what the overall performance of our team is measured by.
"We will be bringing more upgrades to the car for Monaco, as will all of the other teams. Our target is obviously to score more points as we haven't had the conversion rates we would have liked in recent races, and we are typically fast on street circuits, so we are looking forward to getting the best out of the FW31 at Monte Carlo."