Williams to miss opening day of testing

Williams

Williams

Eleven drivers are set to be in action on the first day of testing on Monday, but Williams pair Robert Kubica and George Russell will not be among them after the Grove-based team opted to delay the start of its programme until Tuesday.

When Williams did bring a vehicle to the circuit on Monday, it remained unclear if it was indeed the finished 2019 auto, or the previous year's with new parts attached.

"This is obviously extremely disappointing, but it is unfortunately the situation we are in. We will be getting the FW42 on track as soon as we are able". Williams will miss at least a quarter of their preparation time for the new campaign, having suffered a miserable season last time out.

That led to doubts Williams would be able to get the vehicle to Barcelona in time to belatedly start testing on Tuesday morning as hoped. However late completion of the auto forced the cancellation of that test.

The first pre-season takes place over four days before a second four-day test the following week.

Leo Santa Cruz victorious, but Rafael Rivera surprisingly held his own
In 2018 he took the year off to recover from an injury and get some much-needed rest after being in tough physical fights. Rivera stepped in on late notice to replace original Santa Cruz foe Miguel Flores, who injured his ankle in training.

Time was made even tighter this year due to the late sign off of the 2019 regulations, which were published at the last possible moment and then required a series of technical directives to clear up a number of loopholes.

Renault was also concerned it might miss its filming day ahead of the new season, but managed to hit the track on Saturday for 98km with Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel.

The four-time world champion posted a time 1.7 seconds quicker than the best lap set on the opening day of testing past year.

Williams finished last of 10 teams in 2018 and were hoping to make progress after internal restructuring. Over the winter it lost title sponsor Martini and replaced it with telecommunications company ROCKiT.

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