Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says he’s pleased to see the British team fightback from a nightmare Bahrain Grand Prix by showing competitive race pace in China despite having no points to show for it.

Both Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin kept up with the midfield fight for Williams after a disastrous Bahrain race were both drivers sunk to the back of the field. Stroll enjoyed an eye-catching start to the Chinese race at the Shanghai International Circuit by jumping from 18th on the grid and up to 12th by the end of the first lap.

Lowe felt its race strategy was somewhat undone by the untimely safety car period, which enabled Force India to pit its cars for fresh ultrasoft tyres and jump back ahead, and despite seeing Stroll and Sirotkin finish 14th and 15th respectively he was happy to see the team battle back into the pack in China.

“These aren’t great results, and certainly not in the points, but compared to where we were in Bahrain it’s fantastic get two cars to the finish in 14th and 15th,” Lowe said. “We were certainly in the race whereas in Bahrain we were not even competing.

“It is a much more positive feeling for everyone and something we can build on in the weeks to come.”

“The safety car didn’t help us that much but we took the opportunity to put Sergey on the soft tyre, which appeared to be a better tyre for us and for this circuit, as indeed it appeared to be for the front runners.

“On pace, we were able to beat the Saubers but through strategy, we were able to beat both Toro Rosso cars, as well as the Haas of Grosjean.”

Williams remain the only F1 team yet to score a point after the opening three rounds of the 2018 world championship and stay rooted to the bottom of the world constructors’ championship standings.

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