Transmission Problems Haunt Williams’ Season Opener In Australian GP

Transmission problems curtailed Williams' weekend in Melbourne but the team are confident that their FW33 has the raw pace for the rest of the season.

Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado were both forced out with gearbox failures during the Australian Grand Prix to leave Williams without a point.

Rookie Maldonado had to retire on his ninth lap in F1 and Barrichello, who had had gearbox  gremlin in practice was back in the garage after 48 laps.

Technical Director Sam Michael believes that once reliability is fixed the new Williams will be fighting in the top ten.

He said: “We had transmission failures on both the cars this weekend and are still currently investigating both problems.

“Rubens' practice and race problems were unrelated. The issue we had on Saturday was with the rear gearbox oil seal that caused a leak.

“The competitiveness of the FW33 was encouraging given the limited running and set-up time we had in Melbourne.

“There is more to come from the car and I hope in the next few races we can show what the FW33 is capable of.

“Heading to Sepang we will once again be hoping to get into the top ten in qualifying and end the weekend with some points for both cars.”