LONDON: Williams have cancelled plans to run their new Formula One car for the first time on Saturday as they rush to be ready for the start of pre-season testing in Spain next week.
The former champions, who finished last overall in a dire 2018 season, are not the only team racing against time, with Renault also working flat out to complete their car.
Both teams held livery launches at their factories in England this week but the cars on display were essentially last year’s models with fresh paintwork and branding and new front wings.
“We have had an extremely aggressive engineering programme over the winter,” said Williams deputy principal Claire Williams yesterday.
“As such, we have taken the decision not to run our car during our filming day this weekend in order to allow the team to maximise the time at the factory before we head to Barcelona for the first day of the test on February 18.”
Champions Mercedes have had no such headaches, the team running their new W10 for the first time at Silverstone on yesterday.
Formula One teams always operate to tight margins in designing and building cars, seeking to maximise development time, and this year has seen significant new aerodynamic regulations come into play. Renault are also due to have their car on track at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday but team boss Cyril Abiteboul told reporters that was looking uncertain.