Williams’ new car, the FW42 may have finally arrived in Barcelona for the official pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya but the team is still at sea internally according to an article in today’s Telegraph.
“There is understood to be fury within Williams not just at the car’s shortcomings, but at Lowe’s inability to accept responsibility.”
Paddy Lowe, Williams’ Chief Technical Officer arrived at Williams in 2017 with much fanfare having previously been a key part of Mercedes’ F1 success.
However, the first car produced under his stewardship: the Williams FW41 turned out to be statistically the worst in the team’s illustrious 42 year history in Formula 1, finishing bottom of the World Constructor’s Championship, and driver Sergey Sirotkin ending the season at the foot of the drivers’ championship table to boot.
On the back of this disastrous campaign, everyone was looking forward to a reboot for 2019, and a new car that Claire Williams, Williams’ deputy team principal, called ‘new-gen’ Williams.
However, an inauspicious start to Williams’ 2019 programme saw the team first cancel a planned shake-down test of their new car, and then miss the first two days of the eight day F1 test, their car finally arriving in Barcelona in the early hours of the third day, with the team facing a battle to get it ready to hit the track after lunch.
Furthermore, it is reported that the FW42 hasn’t performed well in the simulator and Williams might be looking at another season propping up the grid, and that key departures from the team in 2018 have yet to be replaced.
But let’s not forget that the new car is yet to turn a wheel.
Even the most deep rooted sense of foreboding would completely vanish with a positive few days at the track.
But we need to see signs that the FW42 has some promise, and quick!