Williams to miss opening day of F1 pre-season testing

Williams Racing Livery Unveil

They’d already cancelled the shakedown they had planned for Saturday, and now Williams have confirmed they will miss the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Monday.

The Grove-based team say the brand-new Mercedes-powered FW42, which was revealed via digital renderings on Friday, will not be ready to run until Tuesday morning.

Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams admitted the situation was far from ideal, but that the squad was determined to maximise the remaining track time at their disposal.

“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 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.”

Despite the setback, Williams, who finished bottom of the constructors’ standings in 2018, have high hopes for the forthcoming campaign. With a new title sponsor, new livery, an all-new driver line-up of Robert Kubica and rookie George Russell and a ‘next-gen approach’, the former championship-winning team have their eyes fixed on a transformation of their fortunes.

All nine of the remaining teams on the grid are expected to hit the track with their new F1 cars in Barcelona on Monday. You can follow all the action live on F1 TV and Formula1.com.