Williams 2019 F1 livery launch

Williams will not run on first day of testing

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Williams will not be ready for the start of testing for the 2019 F1 season, the team has confirmed.

The first day of testing is due to take place at the Circuit de Catalunya tomorrow. However Williams has run out of time to complete its FW42 in time for the first day of running.

“Unfortunately, we have had to delay the start of our pre-season Barcelona test to Tuesday morning,” said deputy team principal Claire Williams. “We have had an incredibly busy winter at Grove getting the FW42 prepared for the season ahead and, despite everyone’s best efforts, we need some more time before it will be ready to run.
“Our absolute priority is to always ensure we bring a car to the track that is the best that it can be and sometimes that takes longer than you’d anticipate or like. It’s clearly not ideal, but equally it’s not the end of the world.
“We will obviously have our work cut out to recover the time lost but we still have seven days of testing left and we will be maximising that time to prepare the car for the first race.”

Williams originally intended to shake down its new chassis at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday but also failed to meet that target.

The team will begin its testing programme with George Russell at the wheel of the new car on Tuesday morning. He will hand over to test driver Nicholas Latifi in the afternoon. Robert Kubica will drive the new car for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

51 comments on “Williams will not run on first day of testing”

  1. Looking on the positive side, at least they won’t be finding out in the first morning of the 1st test that they are effectively done for the season like they were last year then!

    Reliability wasn’t a big problem for them in the last years, I don’t think, so from that view too, and as long as they really managed to fix the design issues that plagued the FW41, and that will be the biggest thing they need to have worked on, it isn’t a disaster either.

  2. Poor Williams.. slow fading to Manor-Marussia end. Only a hand falling from the sky could help, Sauber-AR like wise..

  3. The beginning of the end?

    1. That was about 1998.

      1. They nearly won the world drivers championship in 2003.

      2. 2003. If the michelin tyres didnt suddenly become illegal, Williams BMW could have beaten ferrari, but that season was the last time Williams was truely in with a title shot, & lack of championship success with BMW has hurt them ever since

    2. Since when Claire Williams is the person in charge?

      1. She technically still isn’t, but she has been the primary public face of the team for several years. Hence why Claire is the one explaining these problems.

  4. Given that they of all teams have had one of the longer development periods for their 2019 car, this suggests that they might have taken far too long to work out what was wrong with last year’s car.

    Either that or they’ve had some serious project management issues.

    It could be argued that winter testing is THE most important part of a season for midfield teams and to lose 1 day of “real” track time is not a good sign for a team wanting to recover.

    1. Or you could argue that the have maximized design, production envelope etc. allowing them to get those extra gains…. but missed it by 24hrs…

    2. Or, @dbradock, they’re pulling a Brawn and trying to stuff that awkward 2019 Merc power unit into a chassis that already had trouble packaging that awkward 2018 Merc power unit.

      Would dearly love for Williams to reveal some doubly diffused advantage.

      Prefer that to the brutal example that Claire has set so far, that nepotism doesn’t make a better F1 team.

      1. One can only hope – I’d love to see them back up near the front. Not really certain that Claire is the major issue – I suspect that she may be having trouble moving on a heap of dead wood that get support from above.

    3. I agree, @dbradock; not good at all.

  5. Prophets of doom, don’t be so keen to witness the demise of one the sports true great teams. They have had success recently, in the hybrid era and I’m sure they have performed a root and branch analysis to improve. It’s akin to a rock band having a fallow patch. After the Black album it took Metallica 25 years to write another decent album and only after a lot of soul searching and getting their houses in order.

    Claire is learning on the job but she does give me confidence, good luck to them I say!

    1. But Metallica always sucked. Crap guitar playing, bad lyrics and singing etc etc. Metallica is like a 2nd tier nascar team… Same crowd too.

      1. Let’s try not to forget that taste is personal

        1. …Ah, but performance on the track (& not getting to the track) is objective.

    2. After the Black Album, Metallica never wrote another decent album… Or even half-decent album

  6. Was really looking forward to seeing Kubica first up. I think they’d be crazy to give Latifi equal running, it’s not as if they don’t need as much valuable feedback as possible from their drivers (at least Kubica.)

    On the bright side at least this way if the cars not quite ready (which I guess it seems like it wont be) Kubica won’t be waiting around losing testing time…

    1. 1 day out of only 8 is a lot of time to lose for the team. Latifi paid his way into the team, and will have as much testing as the regular drivers on the 3 days, I think they should move latiffi for the Tuesday all day, to go through all the boring systems checks and then let the race drivers work on setup and development.

      1. I would give Larifi the Monday, and he can keep his race seat as a memorabilia.

  7. Very poor from Williams. Doesn’t inspire much confidence for their season, surely this is the most important time above any other to get your house in order. I suspect Latifi is in the car due to money/sponsorship etc reasons, personally If I was in Williams’ situation I’d rather my race drivers be doing all the mileage.

  8. And so it begins, the spin falls away and reality peeps out from behind the spinner.

    Who will breakdown during testing? Miss the second or third days.

    Who says testing is boring.

  9. But Metallica always sucked. Crap guitar playing, bad lyrics and singing etc etc. Metallica is like a 2nd tier nascar team… Same crowd too.

  10. That’s disappointing. I was expecting them to rock it this year.

    1. I’m still expecting them to be rock bottom.

  11. This won’t be the first thing they are last to this season.

    1. Of course, I meant only thing…

      1. Alas, both statements are probably true…

  12. How Surprising.

  13. like their sponsor’s phones, Williams are now missing too

  14. Should have become a Mercedes “B” team like stroll wanted them to do.

  15. I really hope Williams does well this year – probably more than any other team.

    You can’t help but worry for them. They seem to be the only team left that doesn’t have significant buisness outside F1 or a tie-up with a larger team – one of the only ones left that are a racing team first and primarily and still build the entirety of their car alone. That’s without bringing in their heritage as a race and championship winner and one of the most recognisable names in the sport.

    They’ve seemed to be on a downturn for a few years, but hitting dead last – despite having a strong and reliable engine is shocking. I see people have already started speculating whether we’re looking at the end of Williams and I hope we aren’t. Williams are the kind of team F1 should be bending over backwards to protect. They were here before, and they’ll be here long after the manufacturers have gotten their glories and left – providing they aren’t priced out now.

    1. @rocketpanda, they do have a division called Williams Advanced Engineering, which is an engineering consultancy and manufacturing division that operates outside of F1. The turnover of that division generates about a quarter of the entire turnover of the holding company, so it is not an insignificant contribution to the overall funding of the team.

  16. Are Williams in trouble alreadt?

  17. Day late, dollar short?
    Either that or they’ve built a winner and don’t want to show off the real car too soon :-)
    Hoping it’s the latter.

  18. They need Frank back, frankly. In the same form he was in the beginning of the 90s

    1. @melthom, some would say that the problems that Williams face now is because, for so long, Frank continued to run the team in a way that might have worked back in the 1980s or early 1990s, but the way that he was trying to run the team was increasingly out of odds with the way that teams were working by the late 1990s or the early 2000s, let alone now.

      Even back in the early 2000s, people were commenting that Frank Williams’s style of management was archaic and sometimes that same hard-headed desire to prove himself could also prove to be to the detriment of the team as he sometimes became blinkered and would refuse to acknowledge problems.

      The way that Williams, for instance, has insisted on a culture of making everything in house might, on the one hand, give them greater control over the way that parts are produced and perhaps gives them a sense of self control and reliance that other teams might not have. On the other hand, there have been times when that culture, which Frank started and continues in the team to today, is an inefficient use of money and labour, especially when applied to parts that aren’t effective performance differentiators and could be produced more cheaply and quickly out of house.

      The criticism is that, for too long, Williams have looked to the past for solutions to their problems and rested on laurels that have faded away long ago. Looking to apply the solutions of the past, as some have been suggesting McLaren should do by reapponting Ron Dennis, is in many ways the reason why those teams have entered decline in the first place – not because they deviated from how they were run in the past, but because they stuck too strongly to how they were run in the past in a changing environment that increasingly left them out of touch.

  19. Now they can’t blame Kubica, thought

  20. Has teams run by women ever been great?

    1. The sample size in F1 so far has numbered one (Claire is Williams deputy team principal, not the principal itself).

  21. When you thought you can’t sink any lower. Of course Ferrari hasn’t won anything since ’09 and for the reds it’s almost an eternity. As for Williams they did the impossible at Barcelona a few years back but it seems like they are falling into same hole that Lotus dig between 1979-1994 without winning a single title.

    ”cos no one saves the day
    it’s no one else’s fault
    if you’re a day late or a dollar short”

  22. I find it can be tricky working to a timeline, especially when you’re trying to do something where there’s a desire to improve. Still, this isn’t a deadline that just turned up, it’s been known for a long time.
    I’m disappointed that Robert isn’t driving on their first day of testing, but maybe the plan was he’d be testing on Monday, which has been cancelled.
    As I’ve said before, big system failures are accompanied by small system failures, and not turning up on the first day of testing is a small system failure.

    1. No, buddy. This is just ONE MORE example of a team going stead fast towards it’s sunset. The corporate culture at Williams, being as cheap as you can be is finally taking it’s toll. I will be really surprised if Williams is not taken over by the end of the season.

      You can’t be so incompetent for so long and not pay a heavy price. You can’t pinch pennies in a context that demands massive expenditure and expect to be successful.

  23. Oh dear, not looking great for Williams. Hopefully they can turn it around

  24. Doesn’t bode well…

    But as long as they’ve electrical & gearbox reliability they should be able to recoup the mileage.

  25. Should have become a Mercedes “B” team like stroll wanted to do.

  26. Will they even make it to the end of season?

    No car for day one of testing – so they are badly prepared

    Novelty sponsor – every chance the money will disappear

    Pay drivers – one of whom is a great story but very unlikely to be a great F1 driver any more

    Best engine on the grid – yet back of the field.

    Succession of major technical appointments – which seem to have failed.

    Hard to believe that this is the team that was a genuine contender at the start of the Hybrid era.

    And yes, all of this has happened under Claire Williams’ watch…

  27. Kristin (@motorsportartist)
    17th February 2019, 19:28

    I was wondering whether this might have something to do with them perhaps only recently closing the deal with Rokit? They might have needed the additional funding to finish the car. I do hope that George and Robert will have a competitive car.

  28. 2019: UE: British exit.
    F1: Williams exit?

  29. Embarrassing? Sad? Palmface even? Don’t know which word is appropriate for this Williams slow-motion car-crash…they seem unable to run the team. Daddy’s girl must go?

Comments are closed.