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Michael: We are not there yet

NEWS STORY
10/04/2007

It was a difficult weekend for Williams, yet a weekend showed that there is clearly light at the end of the tunnel.

A technical problem compromised Alexander Wurz' qualifying hopes, while Nico Rosberg sixth on the grid, splitting the BMWs.

Looking certain of a good points finish on Sunday afternoon - having posted the sixth fastest lap of the race - the German suffered a water leak which brought his race to an end on lap 42. His Austrian teammate soldiered on, enjoying a great scrap with Mark Webber, finally finishing just outside the points in ninth, having started nineteenth.

Reflecting on the weekend, and looking ahead to Bahrain, Sam Michael admitted that although the Grove outfit is clearly improving, there is a lot more work still to be done.

"The weekend was one of contrasts in many respects," said the Australian, "from the changing fortunes of the drivers to the marked improvements we have made with the car, but yet the disappointment caused by Nico's race retirement.

"It was a tough weekend, as it followed a long test and the track conditions had changed - which is normal. That meant we had to move the setup quite a lot during the race weekend, but perseverance paid off and we found a good optimisation by Saturday morning.

"On the plus side, we have moved the car forward to be able to qualify it at a level more reflective of our race pace but on the other hand we have some work to do to ensure reliability does not compromise all this hard work. We have made significant improvements to our reliability over the winter, but we are not there yet.

"All the drivers did a good job, from Kazuki's contribution on Friday to the impressive lap Nico managed in Q3 and his strong start to the race and of course Alex's determined drive to improve his start position by ten places at the end of the race."

It was at Bahrain last year - when the Sakhir circuit hosted the season opener - that Rosberg made his sensational F1 debut, finishing seventh.

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