MONTMELO, Spain — Williams has delayed its 2019 debut to Wednesday after confirming its new car is unlikely to be ready in time for the second day of this week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
Originally the team planned to complete a 100km shakedown in Spain on Saturday, but had to cancel its track time due to delays in the car build. It then targeted the opening day of official testing on Monday but two further delays have seen the debut pushed back to Wednesday.
“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,” deputy team principal Claire Williams said. “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 to.”
The team originally said the delay was due to an “extremely aggressive engineering programme over the winter” that meant it wanted to “maximise the time at the factory.” However, missing two days of the pre-season means Williams has sacrificed 25 percent of its test time ahead of the first race of the season next month in Australia.
The new FW42 chassis arrived in the paddock on Monday but it seems as though key parts have been delayed. It is not unheard of for teams to miss test days and it is often a result of complications in either crash testing or manufacturing.
Time was made even tighter this year due to 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.
Williams finished the last year’s championship in last place — the worst result in the team’s history. Over the winter it lost title sponsor Martini and replaced it with telecommunications company ROCKiT, which the team announced at a launch event last week.