Williams chairman Adam Parr and technical director Sam Michael have admitted they are deeply disappointed with the team’s performance in the first two races of the season, which they say has fallen far short of their expectations.

The Grove-based squad’s radical 2011 car design – which features an ultra-compact gearbox and very tightly packaged rear end – showed promise in winter testing but did not replicate that pace in Australia and Malaysia, while driver errors and a variety of reliability problems have compounded the team’s woes.

Williams have languished near the back of the midfield group so far and are the only established team yet to get on the scoreboard.

“Like everyone at Williams, I am both surprised and frustrated with our start,” said Parr.

“In spite of having an ambitious concept for the FW33, the benefit of continuity with our engine, and moving into our second season with Rubens [Barrichello], we have come up short.

“It is particularly bad in view of our relative strength in pre-season testing and the exceptional amount of work that everyone across Williams has put into this car.”

Parr said the reliability problems have hindered the team’s efforts to develop the FW33.

“First, we have to understand where we are strong and where we are weak. We have had some notable areas of success with the FW33 and we can build on these. We also have some promising improvements coming through for Shanghai and Istanbul and we need to see how these perform.

“We also need to get on top of the reliability issues because these not only affect immediate performance, they also absorb resources that should be focused on improvement.”

Michael was equally blunt in his assessment of the team’s showing last weekend, saying: “Our performance was well below expectations in many areas in Sepang.

“This is not acceptable for us and we’ll be thoroughly reviewing all aspects of our lack of performance before Shanghai.”

Michael detailed the technical problems that sidelined Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado in Malaysia: “Rubens retired with a differential seal leak, caused by excessive slip on the differential during the lap when he had a puncture.

“Pastor retired with a misfire from the engine. The most likely cause of this was a faulty ignition coil, but Cosworth are still investigating this.”

Both Parr and Michael hinted that an overhaul of the team’s engineering group might be necessary to improve performance in the medium term.

“Ultimately the performance and reliability of the car is down to the engineering group and we’ll respond accordingly,” said Michael.

Parr added: “We will move forward, but that does not alter the fact that we have started too far behind.

“Therefore, we will be looking not only at how to address the short-term issues – we will be working together to strengthen the team for 2012 and beyond. Every aspect will be reviewed, nothing is sacred, but we will do this methodically and not in a reactive way.”