Williams technical director Sam Michael has predicted that the team will see an upturn in performance in the coming races after revealing that the Grove-based outfit had been forced to battle a number of issues during the season-opener in Bahrain.

Rubens Barrichello scored a single point for tenth place at Sakhir, but Michaels revealed that issues in the run-up to the race had compromised the performance of the Cosworth-powered car, although the issues are ones that can be resolved ahead of round two in Australia.

"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," he said. "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."

Barrichello set the sixth quickest lap during the race, despite carrying damage on his car, which Michael added gave a further indication that performance will be improved in upcoming events.

He also backed Nico Hulkenberg to deliver the goods, despite his debut being hit by a spin early on which dropped him to the rear of the field.

"When Rubens set that time he actually had some damage on his car," he said. "We expect to be stronger in forthcoming races.

"Nico handled himself well. 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."

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