The Williams F1 Team, or ROKiT Williams Racing as they’re officially now known were planning on taking their new car, the Williams FW42 to the Circuit de Catalonia in Barcelona track for a filming day on Saturday ahead of the first official Formula 1 test of the 2019 season.
This would have given them the opportunity to shake the car down and iron out any teething problems ahead of the F1 test on the 18th February.
However, with a tight schedule and the immovable deadline of day 1 of the F1 test, Williams have taken the decision to cancel their planned pre-test shakedown, and instead the Williams FW42 will take to the track for the first time with the other nine teams when testing begins on Monday morning.
“As anyone would expect, we have had an extremely aggressive engineering programme over the winter” Williams’ deputy team principal Claire Williams told racefans.net.
“As such, we have taken the decision not to run our car during our filming day this weekend in order to allow the team to maximise the time at the factory before we head to Barcelona for the first day of the test on February 18th.”
This will give the team an extra few days to make final tweaks to a car that’s more than likely been six months or so in development.
It also gives them an extra few hours to prepare for the test and make sure that everything is in place for the team to maximise the time they have in official testing to ready themselves for the first Grand Prix of the season in Australia on the 17th March.
It doesn’t necessarily mean – as one might think – that the FW42 has hit trouble before it’s even turned a wheel. Renault have done likewise, having also cancelled a filming day to buy their team a little extra time to prepare their car for testing, and so Williams are in good company.
As long as the car is ready to attack the track on Monday morning, and is fully equipped for its two drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica to get a few hundred miles under each of their belts before they leave Spain I’m more than happy.