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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 May, 2003, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Ralf laments Williams pace
Ralf Schumacher and Williams technical director Patrick Head
Williams have not had a happy start to the season

Ralf Schumacher has admitted that Williams have underperformed at the start of this season.

Williams have failed to win a race for more than a year and have lagged behind Ferrari, McLaren and Renault in 2003, which is a crucial season for them.

Williams, who were second in the constructors' championship last season, lie fourth ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix - 19 points behind leaders McLaren.

Asked how he felt about Williams' performance so far this season, Schumacher said: "The short answer would be we've got off lightly. Naturally, we were all hoping to do better."

Williams' new FW25 car has struggled aerodynamically, despite the team hoping that it would mark a new start and allow them to get on terms with Ferrari.

Their performance is all the more crucial because they are negotiating an extension of their engine supply contract with BMW, which is reputed to make the best engines in F1.

Ralf Schumacher is pressured by Renault's Fernando Alonso
Williams have struggled for pace

But Schumacher said he was hopeful Williams would start to make progress, starting in Austria.

He said: "I'm delighted with the way the team have put the bad start to the season behind them and are powering ahead to get the car where it should be - right at the front where the battles for victory are fought out.

"We continued our intensive testing schedule last week in Le Castellet and I'm convinced we've made progress in all areas which we hope to be able to translate into a successful result in Austria."




AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX

SCHUMI ESCAPES TO VICTORY

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE BY RACE
 

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SEE ALSO
Speeding Montoya loses licence
12 May 03  |  Europe
Berger dismisses Williams
07 May 03  |  Formula One
Montoya urges Williams forward
08 May 03  |  Formula One
Williams pledge to keep Ralf
19 Apr 03  |  Formula One

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