Williams' new chief operations engineer, Mark Gillan, has admitted that the team hopes to be able to fight for points in the forthcoming Japanese Grand Prix, but concedes that there is a lot of work to do at Grove.
Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello finished just outside the top ten in Singapore on Sunday - and the Brazilian ran inside the points for a short spell - but both were a lap down on eventual winner Sebastian Vettel by the chequered flag as Williams' frustrating and disappointing season continued into the first of the autumn 'flyaways'. Although happier with the reliability of the FW33 in one of the toughest races of the year, Gillan accepted that there was still a long way to go before anyone could be satisfied.
"Overall, the team did a good job this weekend," he told Williams' official website, "The aim at this race was, firstly, to maximise our current performance and fight to get into the top ten, which unfortunately we just missed with both cars, and, secondly, to further understand the FW33 package to allow us to continue to bring additional development parts to the remaining races.
"We aim to be more competitive at Suzuka than at Singapore but, as a team, we have a lot of work to do in order to compete at the level we want to. We are currently working hard to address the FW33's key driveability issues."
Part of the programme addressing those issues was the introduction of further development parts in Singapore, and Gillan was happy, at least, to have seen some of the ideas running on raceday.
"We brought an extensive set of upgrades to the track, including modifications to the front wing, floor, rear wing, cooling package and fuel cell," he confirmed, "The majority of parts worked well and those that did not make their way onto the car for Saturday running will be further modified and retested."
Barrichello was running in tenth when the team decided to play the strategy game and leave him out on a set of soft tyres - the harder of the two compounds taken to Singapore - to see if he could maintain the position to the finish. Team-mate Maldonado, meanwhile, was pitted for a set of supersofts, and the Venezuelan eventually came out on top as Barrichello's rubber faded late on.
"Tyre wear was not so much the concern, but rather the large lap-time delta between the soft and super-soft tyres, in addition to how the soft tyre would behave during a long stint," Gillan explained, "At the time, we were out of the points and decided to split the strategy by letting Rubens run to the end on a set of soft tyres while getting Pastor to pit once more for another set of softs. Rubens did an excellent job of defending his subsequent tenth position against Massa but, unfortunately, the tyre performance dropped off quite significantly in the last few laps and Massa was able to take the position six laps from the end."
Barrichello eventually faded to 13th, while Maldonado was able to use his fresher rubber and climb to eleventh, just missing out on a vital point.