Nico Hulkenberg scored his first F1 point as he brought his Williams home in tenth place after a surprisingly dry Malaysian Grand Prix.
The German, who qualified fifth, initially ground to his rival and had to pit early for a new steering wheel. Teammate Rubens Barrichello had a problem off the start line dropping him to the back of the field but the Brazilian recovered to finish twelfth.
Hulkenberg said that the FW32 is still lacking pace, although their reliability is good. “We picked up a point today, maybe because our car was more reliable, but that's racing. It was a tough race because we just don't have the pace at the moment. I wish we could do better, but we have some work to do to catch up.”
Barrichello was at a loss to explain his extremely poor start, and agrees that the team need to find more pace from the car. “I don't know what happened at the start, I'll go through that with the team. From there I went to the back of the field. We tried a different strategy to get us back up, but our car was just not competitive. We lost a nice opportunity today.”
Williams technical director Sam Michael explained the problems facing the team in Kuala Lumpa today. “We had a difficult race this afternoon from which we've come away with one point. Both drivers struggled with the start; Rubens didn't get enough drive and Nico had excessive wheel spin. We chose to pit Rubens early and put him on the harder tyre as he was being held up in traffic. Nico also had to pit early as we had an electrical problem on his steering wheel which was preventing us from changing the engine mixture. Our focus remains on improving our pace and starts.”