Lowe parting company with Williams?


Just days after pre-season testing, which saw Williams miss the first two-and-a-half days because the car wasn't ready, it is claimed that Williams has parted company with technical boss Paddy Lowe.

In the days before pre-season testing began, when it became clear that the FW42 would not be ready in time, the team having cancelled a planned shake down, the were reports that Lowe was on borrowed time.

Tonight the Daily Mail reports that according to its sources Lowe has now left the team, though this has not been officially confirmed, while a number of other media outlets claim that the Briton has taken a "leave of absence for personal reasons".

Only last week Lowe insisted that he had no fears about his future, telling reporters in Spain when asked about the speculation: "I haven't paid attention to those sort of subjects in the media. I'm working very hard, there's an awful lot to do," he added. "We're working well as a team and at all levels in the company. I haven't got any concerns on that side."

Insisting that it would be wrong to "conclude anything so simple as to blame a person in what is an incredibly complicated set of circumstances and requirements", he continued: "What I've observed over many years in Formula 1 is there's quite often the habit of changing the people when things don't work. What I've also observed is stronger teams are the ones who do exactly not that.

"Every difficulty, problem in a team is an opportunity to learn," he added. "Not only not to repeat it, but to be even stronger next time. What you shouldn't do is get rid of people because you've thrown away that experience and that knowledge."

Speaking about the delay when the FW42 finally took to the track, Claire Williams admitted: "This is not a situation that we anticipated, it's certainly not a situation that we ever wanted to find ourselves in.

"Clearly, we're not just disappointed, but it's embarrassing, not bringing a race car to the circuit when everyone else has managed to do that, particularly for a team like ours that has managed to bring a car to testing for the last 40-odd years."

However, when the FW42 hit the track, it was soon clear that there remains much work to do, other than being off the pace, a lack of spare parts meant that the final afternoon was spent practicing starts and pit stops, Robert Kubica finding it hard to hide his frustration.

Coming off the back of the Grove outfit's worst season in living memory, the shortcomings of its 2018 car in terms of balance, handling and poor aero becoming apparent just a couple of hours into pre-season testing last year, 2019 had to witness a major step forward for Williams, and on the evidence thus far this isn't going to happen.

Lowe, who began his F1 career with Williams in 1987, joined McLaren in 1993, progressing to the role of technical director in 2011 before replacing Ross Brawn at Mercedes in 2013. In 2017 he returned to Grove.

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Published: 06/03/2019
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