Williams 2019 livery on 2018 F1 car

Williams unlikely to run until Wednesday afternoon

2019 F1 season

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Williams says its delayed new car for the 2019 F1 season is unlikely to run until tomorrow afternoon.

The team has confirmed the FW42 will not arrive at the Circuit de Catalunya until early on Wednesday morning, as RaceFans reported yesterday. The team estimates it should be at the track between 4am and 5am.

According to the team it is therefore unlikely to be able to turn its first laps until after the lunch break, by which time it will have missed more than half of the first test of the new season. Some of the team’s rivals have already covered more than 1,000 kilometres of testing.

The team is set to miss its deadline for running its car on-track for the first time by five days. The team originally intended to shake down the new chassis in a filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday.

Robert Kubica is scheduled to be first to drive the car on Wednesday afternoon. The team has a 2018-specification chassis at the track in the livery of its recently-announced title sponsor Rokit.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams yesterday described the late arrival of its car as “extremely disappointing”. Williams finished last in the 2018 championship.

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2019 F1 season

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Williams garage, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
The Williams garage has been closed since testing began yesterday

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...

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28 comments on “Williams unlikely to run until Wednesday afternoon”

    1. No, not really. This is desperately sad for one of the sport’s great names. I hope for the sake of everyone at Grove that this isn’t symptomatic of deeper problems and they can bounce back to make at least a respectable showing once the season starts.

    2. Nothing funny about it.

      F1 cannot afford to lose any more teams, especially one with the heritage and fanbase of Williams.

    3. Not even worth typing is Jere? Much like most of your other points.

      No doubt that you’re a plastic fan of the greatest team at this time, and bask in all the glory they provide you with. You don’t have to laugh at a team in difficulty to make you feel better you know?

  1. Has the cause of their delay been revealed? Money, fabrication errors, late design changes…

    1. I think it is likely all of the above. If we go by a few articles about the state Williams is in throughout the whole team, this should be no surprise. They lack money and resources and staffing expertise that would have them able to react more quickly and get things done efficiently. It is one thing to know what the problems are, be it with the car or the team or both, and it is another to sort it. From reading those off-season articles I would say it will be a small miracle if they have improved the car over last year.

    2. Andrew Benson at BBC says his sources have been warning about this for months.

      Also a supposedly reliable source reports that “the issue is with the installation of the braking system along with all the cooling ducts. We are having problems with building the car because of it and it needs to be redesigned again”

      Take these with a pinch of salt of course. But coupled to the high profile departures in recent months could it be a case of leadership being spread too thinly.

      1. Interesting info, thank you @mattj

      2. I trust these rumours as the same source on the Williams fansite predicted the new team colours and title sponsor a week before the reveal. Definitely someone on the inside.

    1. I understood that reference.

      1. I did as well, and I shouldn’t have.

        The internet is killing the human race!

    2. Been on reddit too much, have we? :)

  2. Christcakes

  3. The team has a 2018-specification chassis at the track

    Why can’t they let Queen Latifa drive the 2018 car until Wednesday afternoon?

    1. Great question. 2 days of comparing tyres, then let Kubica and Russel get 2.5 days respectively. I suppose Latifi’s contract stipulates the 2019 car, though…

      1. 2.75, rather.

    2. Chassis. For promo purposes. Probably has no engine or gearbox.

      1. Not sure if Latifi’s contract stipulates those ;)

  4. OK, serious question here:

    Why aren’t they running the 2018 chassis? Mileage for the drivers to get re-accustomed to the physical demands of a Formula 1 car, experience with the tyres, and, when the new chassis does eventually rock up, fresh comparisons with the old machinery. Install some of the available 2019 components on the old car, even. At least you’ll be collecting some data on the aerodynamic worth of 2019-spec parts.

    It’s an absolute mess.

    1. @newfangled, most probably because all resources are deployed into the 2019 car. Servicing the 2018 chassis would result in even longer delays to run the new car.

    2. Just cause a race car is present, doesn’t mean it’s prepped and race ready…

      For all we know it doesn’t have a running engine…

      Too many oversimplification around here pre season.

    3. It could cost them a fortune to run a hybrid car with no real benefit…

  5. This is a big miss – teams do run tight and often abandon the shake downs (I think Renault did this year – there often a best case option).

    It also wouldn’t of been full alarm bells if they’d been a bit slow getting it out of the box on Monday – it happens.

    But for the car not to make it until Wednesday morning is a big miss. Teams have skipped testing before but they normally announce it beforehand and have traded development time for track time.

    There must be a specific problem because why would they launch and say they are targeting a shakedown if they were this far behind? Just don’t announce the shake down and say we have pushed right to the wire and might be a little late to start. The fact it’s come out so late in the day is so strange!

  6. This will never happen but wouldnt we be shocked if Williams rolled out some crazy design no one thought of and on the first day are the fastest in testing and they just needed more time to finish working on the crazy loop hole they found last min in the rules. They will win the championship with 3 races to go and Kubica will have his F1 championship everyone thought he would get one day ….. We can all dream cant we??

  7. This is shocking considering they haven’t changed engine supplier and already had new parts like the wings which they tested last year. It must be a radically different car otherwise it makes no sense not to be running now with a 2018 hybrid of new parts. Given how bad they were last year, should have been the first to turn their attention to the new car and first on track yesterday.

  8. They should sell to Mazepin. I’m sure he is still hell-bent to beat Stroll, after losing out on the purchase of Force India. He has the finances for it, plus it might cause a spending war between him and Stroll. Crazy idea, I know, but why not?

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