Sir Frank Williams has blasted his team's qualifying performance for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps - a race the Grove-based concern has won on three occasions in the past, as well as victory at Zolder in 1981 - as 'embarrassing'.

The 2008 Formula 1 campaign has degenerated into an increasingly dispiriting one for the 16-time world championship-winning outfit, with Nico Rosberg's Australian Grand Prix podium finish in Melbourne - prompting some to tip Williams to emerge as 'best-of-the-rest' behind the top three teams over the balance of the season - proving to be a false down as the young German and team-mate Kazuki Nakajima have notched up just eight points between them in the eleven races that have followed.

That trend looks set to continue this weekend, as Rosberg lines up just 15th around the challenging Ardennes circuit - where last year he qualified fifth and finished sixth - and Nakajima a lowly 19th, on the very last row of the grid and beaten by the Force India of Adrian Sutil.

"This result is more than disappointing," lamented team co-founder Williams in an interview with "It is embarrassing."

The 66-year-old added that though the Toyota-powered FW30 does feature some updates in Spa, the bulk of the squad's efforts are now firmly focussed on 2009, when F1 is set for a significant overhaul of the sport's technical regulations.

"Essentially we are going to have to make the best of what we have got [for the remainder of 2008]," he added. "Our concentration is on 2009 - I hope we will look better then."

A frustrated Rosberg ended up more than four tenths of a second slower than his nearest rival in Q2, whilst a similarly grip-less Nakajima was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.

"I didn't really expect us to struggle so much in qualifying," inaugural GP2 Series Champion Rosberg confessed. "While we knew that Spa was not going to be our best track, being this far back is unexpected and very disappointing.

"In one respect, my car was okay from a balance perspective, but there was a serious lack of grip which meant I couldn't go any faster. Obviously looking ahead to the race, some rain would give me a small chance to achieve something; otherwise it's going to be very difficult."

"I felt our car was better in practice" added Nakajima. "Despite the fact that the dry conditions for qualifying made the circuit better, when we got into the session I just couldn't find any grip and I am not able to understand why. It's going to be a long race, and starting 19th will make things more difficult."

Those sentiments were echoed by Williams' director of engineering Sam Michael, who nevertheless sought to insist that all hope was not yet lost of battling for a top eight position on race day.

"It was obviously a disappointing session for Nico not to make it through to final qualifying," reflected the softly-spoken Aussie, "and for Kazuki not to progress into Q2. Nico got the best out of the car and he was competitive in sector one and sector three, but he couldn't improve in sector two, which is where our weakness lies.

"We did expect that Spa would be one of our difficult tracks. From here we will work on strategy to - as always - keep pushing and see if we can get into the points."


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