Williams garage, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Williams will not run on second day of testing

2019 F1 season

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Williams’ preparations for the 2019 F1 season have taken another hit as the team has indicated its new car will not run until the third day of testing.

A statement issued by deputy team principal Claire Williams on Monday said: “It is looking more likely than not that we will now not be in a position to run on track until Wednesday at the earliest.

“This is obviously extremely disappointing, but it is unfortunately the situation we are in. We will be getting the FW42 on-track as soon as we are able.”

RaceFans understands from a source at the team that its new chassis has not arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya, scene of this week’s four-day test. The first completed FW42 will be air-freighted to the track early on Wednesday morning.

Williams mechanics were seen pushing a covered car through the pit lane to the team’s garage during this morning’s test. However this was not the team’s new car, but an earlier model painted in its 2019 livery for promotional purposes.

The new Williams FW42 was originally supposed to run for the first time in a filming day on Saturday. However late completion of the car forced the cancellation of that test. The team later admitted it would not be ready in time for the start of pre-season testing.

The late start to the team’s 2019 programme, following its last-placed finish in the 2018 championship, will heap further pressure on chief technical officer Paddy Lowe. RaceFans has been told that a series of internal deadlines for completion of the FW42 programme were missed.

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56 comments on “Williams will not run on second day of testing”

  1. Wow….they really are in a mess…..

    This does not look good…..maybe Rokit has admitted that they do not have any money…….

    This may be the beginning of the end…especially if they do manage to get out for testing….but are clearly plumb last and well off the pace…..

    1. Rokit has money. If not, they wouldn’t sponsor one of the big market teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Houston Rockets. Please spot assuming the sponsor has no money and please think outside F1. If you don’t know the company, it doesn’t mean that they have no money…

    2. Even if the sponsor had no money, there is no way it would be voluntarily admitted before the season had even begun. Probably not before Monaco (the weekend where the most high-level connections can be made by the sponsor top brass) was completed. Usually, moneyless sponsors are found out just before, or at some point after, the summer break.

  2. Claire Williams must quit. As CEO she must carry the can for the second farcical start to a new year.

    But that doesn’t let Lowe off the hook. He has been there long enough to sort out the engineering processes to meet well understood deadlines. The testing dates have hardly been dropped on them at the last minute.

    This is all pretty pathetic performance for a once mighty team.

    1. To be fair, we have no idea what has caused the delay. It may well be something totally out of the control of anyone in particular.

      1. It may well be something totally out of the control of anyone in particular.

        That’s why you pay directors the extra money to make contingency plans. Or did you think Lowe was working at a drawing table?

        PS Witan, Frank is still the team principal and might we the one having to take the responsibility :P

    2. Claire Williams is not CEO of Williams, that is Mike O’Driscoll. She is Deputy Team Principal. She is also not responsible for the build programme of the car, that is firmly within the remit of Technical Director (and shareholder) Patrick Allen (Paddy) Lowe.

      1. @geemac, as you and ColdFly note, whilst people are taking a pop at Claire for this given she’s the one having to make these announcements to the public, there are other people whose performance could be questioned and who seem to be being let off.

        The rumour is that the problems have come about because the final designs of some components were not delivered to the production teams in time, which is why they are not running on time.

        If that is the case, it suggests the problem is either a logistical or technical issue, indicating that perhaps the problem is more likely to be with either Dave Redding or Paddy Lowe.

        Dave Redding is the Team Manager, and therefore he is the individual whom Williams have nominated as having “the operational responsibility of the Competitor at events”, as the FIA puts it in their competitor registration system. If these problems are down to how the team is operating, that is arguably something that Dave Redding should be addressing as part of his role.

        Another factor is the fact that the off seasons is now quite short – the first test day today is, I think, only 85 days on from the last race of the 2018 season. In an effort to push their development time as long as possible, some teams have pushed the mandatory crash tests back to later in the off season than they have done in the past – however, it is a risky strategy given that it leaves very little time to recover if the car doesn’t pass the tests.

        Even some major teams have come close to missing the first tests due to failing the crash tests – in 2015, for example, there were rumours that Ferrari came close to missing part of the first test because they had problems with passing one of the crash tests. There were even a few suggestions that the long nose of the SF-15T was a compromised solution that Ferrari had to lash together because the original design failed its crash test – knowing they couldn’t get their preferred solution to work, they ended up putting together a sub-optimal design that was longer than they wanted, but was at least able to pass the tests without issues.

        Similarly, a few years ago Mercedes also had a few issues with passing the frontal crash tests as well – I think that it might have also been back in 2015 as well. Although they managed to get their shorter nose through the crash tests, it appears that it ended up being quite a bit heavier than they wanted it to be because, as a short term fix, they had to thicken up some of the crash structures.

        Given even major teams have sometimes fallen short in that area, another possibility is that Williams might therefore have redesigned some of the crash structures on their 2019 car and gambled on passing the crash tests without issues, but then hit problems when they found it more difficult than expected to pass the tests. In that situation, you could argue that Paddy Lowe would have to take some of the blame as well if he ended up pushing forward with a design that was marginal.

    3. I don’t know who should quit, if anyone… After all having someone at the top taking the rap only works if there is someone better underneath who can take over… but…
      “This is all pretty pathetic performance for a once mighty team.” Have to agree there.

  3. Got to feel for the drivers–one is looking for a full time comeback and the other is just starting his career.

  4. I think its clear now that this was management issue.

  5. Does anyone know why the car was completed late? Maybe the funds from their new sponsor didn’t come in time so they couldn’t progress as quickly as they wanted to?

    1. They did have a big job on their hands. They will have had to practically design the car from scratch as it was totally broken last year.

      1. True. I don’t think fans and especially themselves can take it if they have another dog of a car this year.

        1. Indeed. If they turn out to have a reasonable car then no one will care if they missed the first few days of testing or not…

          1. Don’t count on it. According to an inside source the car is two seconds slower than last year.

          2. Silofen – “inside source:… ;-) How convenient… lmao…!
            No name, no pack drill, no authoritative statement…!

      2. Which they knew from a few races in…

      3. True, but didn’t they switch development focus to the 2019 car pretty much earlier than anyone else because of that? Missing a quarter of pre-season testing is extremely costly given how much they need to test a brand new car from scratch.

        1. +1 the presumption was that they gave up on 2018 rather soon in order to concentrate time and resources into development of 2019 car.

          1. Exactly, and how long have they been making Formula One cars for now? Sort yourselves out Williams.

  6. Or, perhaps the engineering department took the decision to push the limits on design time knowing it would compromise the start of testing and poor old Claire is the one having to do the embarrassing explanations in front of the media. I find it highly implausible that a team of their experience would accidentally plan a late completion of a car.

    1. “poor old Claire” – hahaha. There is no sentiment in business.

  7. Williams in 2005 Jordan mode. Hope they don’t achieve the Spyker/HRT/Super Aguri level.

    1. Jordan managed to score twice in 2005, despite being bought out by people who took quite a while to understand the team’s way of doing things and despite points only going down to 8th. Yes, I realise Indy was 99% due to other people’s problems, but in Williams’ situation points are points and it wouldn’t be a bad “bounceback” example to follow.

  8. Oh hell, next thing we will learn is Williams rokit deal has been cancelled and the team files for bankruptcy on Wednesday. Kubica will then never advance past 76 career starts.

    1. Don’t joke. Money must be very tight for the team. In the longer term, I can’t see Frank Williams allowing the team’s reputation to fall any further. Surely one more season like last year and he’ll sell or fold.

      1. Agreed… IT is not a joke… but… tragically the TEAM has become a joke.

  9. Hilarious, they are a joke of a team compared to their history, what an absolute shambles

    1. You think its hilarious a once great team is on its knees and hundreds of jobs may be on the line? Nice one.

      1. They are living a lie and this has been on the cards for some time, I find it hilarious in a grim, black comedy way. For all their talk of being back on track and having a bright future etc. and them deciding to focus on the 2019 car early because of how badly 2018 was going, they have now lost out on a quarter of preseason testing.

        They won’t go out of business anyway, but by God are they sound everything they can to show people how not to run a formula 1 team

        1. Well I don’t find it funny at all, @sam3110; I find it incredibly frustrating and sad. Not that you are not entitled to your own opinion and reaction – that’s not what I mean. Just saying it’s different for me. This probably sets the tone for the rest of Williams’ season, unfortunately.

      2. One positive is that Tony Mansell has stopped attacking people personally :)

        1. A pity you could not resist it.

        2. Nathan… +1

  10. One of the worst things for Williams, is that they will still have to run latifi 8n the last 2 days, while their race drivers should have priority. Latifi payed his way in, as Williams need the money, and I’m sure they won’t or cant break that contract. It could end up that the 2 race drivers will end up with 1 half day only each from this 4 day test. F1 really should do 3 4 day tests preseason, too many times we have seen teams lose so much running in these tests in last few years, yes it’s the same for everyone, but they are new cars!

  11. Bye bye Paddy. Poor Williams.

  12. I say reserve your judgement. After all, the most likely scenario is that FW42 will arrive at the circuit on Wednesday morning and will be running installation laps after lunch. Someone got their baking time calculations wrong and are probably getting a good telling off as a result but Williams will emerge from their garage this week and start pounding around the track!

    1. Just ask McLaren what missed running time in testing means for your season. The only way this isn’t a disaster for Williams is if the car is inherently good just in need of further development. If it is anything like the Williams or McLaren of last year, than they might as well start on 2020’s car now.

  13. I had hopes for Williams this year, what with having a much stronger driver line up but it’s not looking great so far. I think they will improve throughout the year but it’s going to be very tough for them.

  14. Wondering if it something along the lines of a manufacturing fault / part failure etc putting the whole process back OR something bigger that has been alluded to in previous posts – lack of money….about to close shop.

    What has me worried is that if it was just a part / manufacturing problem – I think this would have been mentioned in the press release.

    What the odds they miss this whole first test….

    Sad day for F1 and those the follow the sport.

  15. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    18th February 2019, 14:20

    things are not looking up for Williams…

  16. Oh God, what a mess… anything that Kubica will manage to achieve other than last place at every race will be a great success it seems…

  17. What a mess.

  18. There are mamy things the Williams team have done wrong in the last years, losing Newey, losing BMW to sauber, hiring poor drivers etc…. I know they are proud constructors but they should really tie up to Mercedes as Haas have with Ferrari.. There is no excuse really, last years car was given up a long time ago and with the effort put into this year the chassis should be ready at the test.

    1. That’s a good idea. They are already acting as a development team for Mercedes drivers. Might as well go all in with them.

  19. Since nobody knows with certainty the reason for this delay in having the car ready for the tests, I think you have to be patient and wait to see what happens on Wednesday. Even this delay may actually be beneficial, in some sense, for the team.
    Williams is a team appreciated by all Formula 1 fans.

    1. In no ways is this beneficial, i’m afraid.

    2. I’ve been patient with Williams for several years now… but always we’re asked to more patient. I would be happier to have seen this great marque sold off three or four years ago, when we could have regretted it’s sad loss… rather than witnessing this tragic decline…

  20. Nope, all other teams have 2 extra days of testing in only 8 allowed days, this is a complete disaster for williams

  21. Williams mechanics were seen pushing a covered car … However this was not the team’s new car, but an earlier model painted in its 2019 livery for promotional purposes.

    I think freighting an older model car to Barcelona was a waste of money. Maybe if Williams were flush with money they could do this, but they’re not, they are just managing to stay solvent. The company accountant shouldn’t have allowed this. Now they will have two cars in their garage: one needing attention and one getting in the way. On top of this they will have to pay all their staff an away from home allowance when they didn’t need to turn up until Tuesday. At the end of the test they will have to freight this irrelevant car back to Britain, unless they happen to find a museum willing to buy it.
    Before you can fix something you must have an idea on how it should work. I know almost nothing about racing, nor much about accounting, but turning up at a test venue with the wrong car built while leaving the right car behind and in pieces sounds like an inefficient use of resources.

    1. Why don’t they run the old car to give the drivers some track time?

      1. @paeschli I do wonder what the point of testing last year’s car would be. Last year Lance Stroll did some unofficial practice in old F1 cars. I don’t know if last year’s car qualifies as an old car, but if it does they could do that anywhere. No, this is an official practice, so the two essentials I can think of are testing this year’s car works as intended and giving the drivers experience in it. There are also secondary things like checking how accurately they can get their simulator to behave as the real car. I think this old car is a hindrance not a help at this practice session.

  22. Sad to see Williams in this situation.
    If I look at if from a not too negative side, then they have made a mistake with a part or construction some time ago and are since then trying to catch up, missing some deadlines along the way. The catching up going on until the last minute, and beyond…
    If it’s a more structural problem, it doesn’t bode well for the future of Williams…

  23. Has this car passed its crash test yet?

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