From the moment the team arrived late in Barcelona for pre-season testing, some still held a deep-down belief that perhaps Williams might spring a surprise, not of Brawn proportions, but simply a significant step forward.
It was not to be.
Indeed, based on the evidence thus far, in Spain, and then Melbourne, not to mention George Russell's admission that an inherent issue with the car will take "months" to fix, it appears Williams has actually taken a step backwards.
Robert Kubica's cause wasn't helped by a couple of errors over the weekend, not least hitting the pitlane wall during qualifying, and sustaining damage on the first lap of the race which saw him subsequently finish last, a lap down on his teammate.
Nonetheless, the Pole insists he has no regrets over his decision to return to F1.
"I said to the guys before Barcelona that last year I never went off the track once and there will be a moment where I have to try in order to know where the limits are," he said, according to ESPN.
"Okay, the qualifying mistake was not even pushing," he admits, "it was a misjudgement of my evaluation of things, but it's all these things that you need to learn.
"For example, when rookie drivers were driving (in lower categories) I was fighting for my life," he continues. "It makes a huge difference in how you approach the weekend.
"From where I'm coming, I'm honest with myself," he adds. "In qualifying I was disappointed with things, not only my performance, but in the end I know the reasons and I didn't handle some things the way I liked. In the race, in an even more difficult situation, I think I handled it correctly.
"Because of my limitations it looks like I will always have to show more than the others as people are putting question marks and doubts (about my ability)," he admits. "The only thing I can do is try and do my job the best I can and try to leave every grand prix with positives and negatives, because I don't believe there can be 100% positive things. You can always do better things, even if you're winning races, you can always improve.
"I know where I have to improve," he insists. "I was not expecting some things that were positive that came naturally. And most of the things which were difficult I expected, being here in the past, knowing how Formula One has changed, I think I'm honest enough with myself to judge properly and correctly what I have to learn, where I have to learn and where I have to improve.
"It is this approach that brought me back to Formula One, to keep fighting, otherwise for me it would have been much easier six years ago to accept an opportunity in GTs or DTM, to enjoy the racing, have less stress, have probably more fun with driving as I would probably be fighting for better positions. But somehow there is a reason I'm here. It might be that at the end of the year I will regret something but one thing I will not regret is to try. Very simple."