Claire Williams said ROKiT Williams Racing being the first car out on track on Wednesday morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya showed ‘a clear statement of intent’ as the Grove-based outfit look to lay to rest the ‘ghosts of last year’.
Williams missed the first test of 2019 and suffered a dreadful campaign, finishing last in the Constructors’ Championship with only one point to their name. They have retained George Russell for a second season as one of the drivers, while Canadian rookie Nicholas Latifi has come in to replace Robert Kubica.
Russell was the first driver to be given responsibility to drive the new FW43 and he was the first car on track when the lights went green on Wednesday morning. He would go on to complete seventy-three laps before handing over the car to Latifi for Wednesday afternoon. Russell and Latifi would then have full days on track on Thursday and Friday respectively.
“Today was just the beginning of our 2020 campaign, but we feel we’ve made a good start,” said Williams’ Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams on Wednesday. “Being the first car out on track this morning may not win us any prizes, but it was a clear statement of intent and lays to rest some of the ghosts of last year.
“The rest of the day was executed pretty much perfectly, despite the packed programme. We clocked up some considerable mileage without any issues and the team will now work through the gathered data.
“It is so nice to see the team back in action, everyone at Williams does such a great job and they have worked hard today. My enormous thanks to everyone in the team, both here and at the factory for the huge amount of effort that has gone into getting the car ready for day one of testing.
“I look forward to seeing where we finish at the end of day six.”
Williams Thanks Engineers for ‘Hard Work’ and ‘Dedication’ Developing FW43
Williams said everyone back at Grove have ‘worked tirelessly’ over the off-season on the FW43, with the engineers looking to eliminate the weaknesses that saw the team struggle for performance throughout 2019 with the FW42.
“The entire team at Grove have worked tirelessly over the winter to get the FW43 ready for when the lights went green in Barcelona,” said Williams. “We have spent a significant amount of time and resource analysing our weaknesses over the past 12 months so that we can make progress in 2020 and beyond and I know everyone in the team will have been delighted to see their car out on track.
“I thank everyone enormously for their hard work, dedication and the fighting spirit they have shown in what’s been a challenging time for us.”