Claire Williams insists her Formula 1 team is not in “crisis mode” after its delayed start to testing, but says changes will need to be made to ensure there are no repeat problems in the future.
Williams missed the first two days of testing because of build delays to its FW42, but rookie George Russell was able to give the new challenger its first laps on Wednesday afternoon.
The team is hopeful that its competitiveness will not suffer because of the late start, but Williams is clear that a deep analysis will need to take place to ensure the team is “fit for purpose” in the future.
“I would say now we have the car on track, we’re back on track,” said Williams. “We’ve still got work to do. But we always said this was going to be a long road.
“We said putting this team back together was going to take time and take work. I think probably we got to car build and we had to go through that process as much as we went through last season, and that process clearly isn’t right at Williams either.
“We haven’t nailed that yet and we need to do some work to make sure it is fit for purpose going into 2020. But it takes time.
“It’s not crisis mode. We’ve got a journey we’re on and we’ve got to make sure everything is fit for purpose: so we don’t make these mistakes in the future, we produce a better race car and we have more success on the race track.”
Although the delays in the car build have prompted questions over the future of tech chief Paddy Lowe, Williams says that the current focus is not on blaming individuals for what has happened but ensuring the team and car are ready for the start of the season.
Asked how the team had found itself in its current situation, Williams said: “There are a lot of elements to that, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to air our dirty laundry in public.
“It’s not right to do that for the people who are working so hard at Grove.
“We’ve just got it wrong. And we’ve got to fix that. Hopefully you’ll see a much more successful Williams in the coming years.”