F1: Williams face mutiny as more delays threatened testing
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Williams were this week on the verge of an outright mutiny against Paddy Lowe, their technical director, as problems with building their 2019 car threatened to deprive the team of crucial winter testing for a third straight day.
At a time when Williams expected to be fine-tuning their machine ahead of next month’s opening grand prix in Melbourne, engineers have been kicking their heels at a hotel near the Circuit de Catalunya, with the car still stuck at their Oxfordshire headquarters.
Williams staff worked through the night just to ensure that the car could be ready for the Wednesday afternoon session. After the cancellation of last week’s planned shakedown of the Williams FW42, as well as the loss of 2½ days of testing, patience with Lowe is at breaking point.
Lowe, who presided over a nightmare 2018 campaign in which Williams finished bottom of the constructors’ standings, has now failed to deliver a car to the start line on time.
His fall from grace has mirrored Williams’s own. Just over two years ago, Lowe was Mercedes’ engineering guru, a central figure in the success of Lewis Hamilton, but he has since become the fall guy in the decline of one of British motorsport’s greatest companies.
In 2018, Williams collected a mere seven points from 21 races, and there is little optimism about a turnaround this year.
The British team invested great hope in their driver line-up, having paired Poland’s Robert Kubica, returning from a potentially career-ending rally accident, with British rookie George Russell, but the car problems appear too deep-rooted to surmount any time soon.
There is understood to be fury within Williams but publicly, at least, Russell is emphasising the capacity to stage a revival.
“Everyone is working as hard as possible to get it sorted,” he said.
“I don’t think it will compromise us too much, to be honest. Winter testing is one thing but once you get racing, it’s a completely different story.”
-The Daily Telegraph