Williams could be set to revert back to their 2012 specification of exhaust following a poor start to the 2013 season.
Pastor Maldonado has two DNFs to his name, whilst Valtteri Bottas finished 14th in Australia and 11th in Malaysia.
The team was forced to change its exhaust design after it was deemed illegal by the FIA due to the presence of turning vanes in the coanda channel during testing. This setback, coupled with the late start for the FW35, has seen the team fail to score in the opening two races, causing this rethink.
“We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster,” technical director Mike Coughlan explained in an interview. “I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34.
“We might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars.”
The move would hinder the development of the FW35, but due to the lack of changes in the regulations this season, using the 2012-spec exhaust is unlikely to see the team fall too far back. However, with the team having spent a great deal of time and money on the 2013 car, Williams will be disappointed to be contemplating such action just two races in to the new season.
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.