Williams technical director Mike Coughlan admits that he team could be forced to revert to an older exhaust system in an effort to improve the performance of its new FW35.
Despite a solid pre-season testing programme, the team has struggled for pace in both Australia and Malaysia and appears to have taken a step backwards in performance when the serious action got underway.
Speaking following a tough race at Sepang, where the team again failed to score, Coughlan admitted that some of the troubles could be linked the exhaust system on the car and that it was possible that it could elect to revert to the exhaust system used last year to try and resolve some of the current issues.
"It's understanding Coanda," he was quoted by ESPN
. "It's grip and we need to go away and get a more consistent platform for the driver. We'll be in a position quite soon where if we don't nail it we'll use Friday's as test sessions. We're of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster.
“I don't think we'll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars."
Coughlan added that, despite the issues, he still felt there was a lot of potential in the FW35 that was to be unlocked as the team seeks to make forward progress.
"We feel there is lots of potential to unleash,” he said. “As soon as you have a situation where there is a loss of downforce on corner entry the driver is suddenly a bit spooked and he just corners at a low potential. So even if you can show him he's got a lot more grip the problem is that he's understeered in, he now has oversteer and he's then trying to protect the rear tyres. So we've given the driver a very difficult platform to use.
"We still believe we have fundamentally a car capable of being in the lower regions of the top ten. [At Sepang] we were close but we ultimately fell short. We have a few major things to fix and then we think we can unharness the potential. The question is how long that will take."