Claire Williams says team will race in Australia


Williams' 2019 charger suffered a production set back that saw the auto make its track debut for pre-season testing only on Wednesday afternoon in Barcelona, with George Russell at the wheel.

That's tended to be Williams' approach since she took over the reigns. But we don't want to discuss that and we are not going to be airing our dirty laundry in public. "We thought we could get everything that we needed to together in order to make Tuesday, and then parts just weren't coming through as we hoped they would, and in the time that we hoped that they would and had in the plan". I don't think that it's appropriate to discuss the ins and outs of what went wrong.

"We need to resolve what went wrong or to analyse what went wrong and then to resolve it so that this doesn't happen again at Williams".

Lowe, who presided over a nightmarish 2018 campaign in which Williams finished bottom of the constructors' standings, has now failed even to deliver a auto to the start line on time. "It's embarrassing not bringing a race auto to a circuit when everyone else has managed to do that, particularly a team like ours that has managed to bring a race vehicle to testing for the past 40-odd years".

Williams have admitted that their failure to attend the first two days of winter testing has been "embarrassing", as they look to play catch up with their rivals ahead of the new F1 season.

"So we can only apologise".

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With the vehicle not due to arrive here in Barcelona until the early hours of Wednesday morning, Williams staff were working through the night just to ensure that it could be ready for the afternoon session.

World champion Lewis Hamilton, who was 12th fastest for Mercedes, said Ferrari were "very strong", adding: "It appears they have a better package than a year ago, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us".

The auto finally arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya at 4am this morning, an astonishing five days late.

This was the culmination of months of hard work, including the team pulling in long shifts in the days leading up to the test, to get the auto ready. The team's running would have largely consisted of systems checks, meaning it will effectively need to squeeze eight days' worth of testing into the remaining five. Catching up won't be easy - Ferrari have already hit the 400-lap barrier and are flying towards the 500 mark.

The situation has raised questions within the team about the future of chief technical officer Paddy Lowe, who is ultimately responsible for all technical parts of the company. Williams said that Lowe was "focusing his energies on making sure the vehicle is in the best possible shape" after it had finally made it to the track.

"It's about us all clubbing together and making sure we understand why we were unable to deliver the auto and do that after-action review and learn from the mistakes".