The team from Grove were not only late for the test in Barcelona, but it also appears that Paddy Lowes car is illegal and must be changed before the first race in just under two weeks.
The FW42 has had a difficult birth, with TJ13 being told by insiders at the team that a big reason that the car was late happened to be some bad decisions made by upper managers last year when they tried to sack staff, the result of which backfired massively. Read more on that here.
Further, Kubica made his rather damning report on the team and car performance at the end of the test saying that the team would find it impossible to make up for lost time, rather strangely Claire Williams, team principal, and daughter of founder member Frank Williams, declared that Robert could be a technical director.
After inspections by FIA scrutineers in Barcelona after other teams asked for some rules clarifications, Williams was forced to make some changes that included modifying the unique concave mirror arrangement due to the fact that their drivers would find it nearly impossible to use them. They were purely aerodynamic devices.
Ironically Paddy Lowe seems very proud of the car declaring earlier in the week that the FW42 was “a huge step forward in terms of the platform.”, but there were very few reasons to be so proud of an aerodynamic solution that risks being rejected by the FIA even before the first GP of the 2019 season in this Judges opinion.
“Robert has driven the old car around here quite a lot last year and has some very encouraging comments on the qualities of the car.” says Lowe.
“He feels that we’ve made a huge step forwards in terms of the platform.
“A car that is far more driveable, a car that you can work with from a driving point of view, you can control your management of tyre, you can control the balance and pace, was definitely not a description we could have given about last year’s car,” Lowe said.
“So that is very encouraging.”
What’s not so encouraging Paddy is that now the front suspension has been also declared illegal, or so motorsport.com is reporting.
To clarify the issues with the car – The FW42 there are three different technical aspects of the car that are under the by the FIA. Andy Green, technical director of Racing Point, had asked for a regulatory clarification on the mirrors, believing that the solution of Williams was a flow diverter.
The rear-view mirror had a concave shape that is not allowed by the regulations, especially as drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica saw almost nothing behind the FW42, although the rear wings were raised this year to improve rearward visibility between the chassis and the rear wing.
Williams has now been invited to put in order its FW42, the rear view mirror has been removed, while for Australia Williams will have to modify the front suspension.
Further, the front suspension with two elements instead of one has raised more ‘clarifications’ to Charlie Whiting by the teams, an arm that aims airflow down to the lower bargeboard and the rubber cover of the bracket being areas contested.
In short, for a team that struggles to leave the last row where it had plummeted last year has not the best start to the season. These setbacks add to the already disastrous delay to testing. Surely that there is abject disarray in the management of this once dominant team.