Claire: Williams is not in crisis, it’s not in turmoil

Deputy team principal Claire Williams insists that her organisation is not in crisis despite their car turning up two days late to the first Formula 1 preseason testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, on Wednesday.

By the time the FW42 took to the track at 3pm, the Grove outfit were over two and a half days behind their rivals in terms of track time for their new car, and their new drivers Robert Kubica and George Russell, both in desperate need of track time for obvious reasons.

Although Williams acknowledged the predicament her team was in, she underplayed the situation, “We know that we’ve got problems and we’ve got to fix those problems. But Williams is not in crisis, it’s not in turmoil.”

“If you spent five minutes at Grove you´d know that wasn´t the case. We´ve made a big mistake not getting our car out and there´s a number of reasons for that, it´s not just one reason.”

Paddy Lowe was brought in to revive the team, when he took over the engineering side Williams had just finished fifth in the championship, last year they were last. The FW 41, the first car built under his watch was a well-recorded disaster.

Asked if heads would roll, indeed even her own, the daughter of Sir Frank Williams was adamant, “I’m not considering my position at the moment at all. I don´t think that would be the right thing to do,” declared Williams.

“Of course as the boss it´s my ultimate responsibility, but it´s everyone´s responsibility in any team to make sure they play their part in getting whatever your product is to the place that it needs to be.”

Lowe’s media session scheduled for Wednesday afternoon was cancelled at short notice, but later he finally emerged with a soundbite in the team press release, “It’s very disappointing to miss two days of this first test in Barcelona, but we are very happy today that we got the car out for the afternoon session.”

When reporters suggested cash-flow might be an issue, she replied, “We are very confident in the budget we’ve got this year, it´s pretty similar to the one with which we went racing last year. Financially the team is pretty solid. That´s not my main concern at the moment.”

“Any rumours out there that Williams is going into administration at the end of the year are utter rubbish. We are a 650-strong operation on the F1 side of the business, nearly 300 people working in advanced engineering, there are 40 brilliant projects. That business is growing 15 percent a year.”

“We’ve got two great drivers in our car, a new title sponsor. We´ve finally got our car on track, hopefully in a week everyone will have forgotten these past couple of days and we can just focus on what we do best and that´s going racing.”

“I am certain that we will have two cars in Melbourne and a spare chassis,” concluded Williams with reference to the season opener in Melbourne on 17 March.