Williams will miss the opening day of pre-season testing on Monday because its new car will not be ready in time.
The British team launched its livery last Monday at an event at its factory in Grove, but the car presented was a 2018 Williams with a 2019-spec front wing attached. Initially the team had planned to complete a shakedown with the new FW42 this weekend by using one of its two filming days for the year, but last week admitted it would not be ready in time.
Now, on the eve of the first day of pre-season testing, deputy team principal Claire Williams has confirmed that the team will also miss the first day of testing.
“Unfortunately, we have had to delay the start of our pre-season Barcelona test to Tuesday morning,” she said. “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 clarely 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 das of testing left and we will be maximising that time to prepare the car for the first race.”
It is not unheard of for teams to miss test days and it is often a result of a team wanting to maximise development time before committing to crash tests and the car build. Time was made even tighter this year by the late sign off of the 2019 regulations, which were published at the last possible moment and then required a series of technical directives to clear up a number of loopholes.
Renault was also concerned it might miss its filming day ahead of the new season, but managed to hit the track on Saturday for 98km with Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel. Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Alfa Romeo, Haas and Ferrari have also all taken part in filming days ahead of the first day of testing.
Williams’ three remaining days of next week’s test will now be split between the team’s two race drivers and reserve driver Nicholas Latifi. George Russel and Latifi will split Tuesday, Latifi and Robert Kubica will split Wednesday and Kubica and Russell will drive again on the final day of the first test on Thursday. A second week of testing follows from February 26 to March 1 before the opening race of the season in Australia.