On the first day of week two of
the 2020 pre-season testing ROKiT Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire
Williams took the time to answer further questions from the media.
"You still smiling?
We had a few issues since we last spoke. We have had some engine problems
which have been a little frustrating. We're on our third engine issue now,
which has obviously cost us quite a lot of track time, which is unfortunate.
I suppose it is what can happen in testing, and at least it's not our issue
that something has gone wrong with the car. Apart from that, it's gone well.
We're covering the run programme as we can with the limited mileage that
we've got. So I would be happier if we had some more miles under our belt I
Do you have to change the engine each time?
Twice we have had to change the engine.
Engine issues can be caused by an engine issue, and installation issue or
even a heating issue so what is the cause of this?
The cause of the one today was an oil system issue.
So its on the Mercedes side not yours?
On the Mercedes side.
So have all of them been oil?
No there were some other issues last week, the one of Friday they are still
investigating so you should talk to them (as in HPP) about that as I don't
think they have found the problem with that and I think there was an issue
with the MGUH on the Thursday night one.
I think you had a sensors issue at some stage?
There was a sensor issue on Friday morning that obviously was our issue.
That put us off the track for probably half an hour, something like that.
That's the only issue that we've had.
The atmosphere is still quite upbeat after a strong start last week?
Yes its still good. I think everyone's a little frustrated because as we
have got six days running you have got a very full programme to get through
and when you lose the number of kilometres that we have lost it is
frustrating because it means you can't prepare as best as you would like to
ahead of going to Melbourne and you have to sacrifice certain parts of your
programme in favour of others. Obviously we wanted to do the full programme
but it is what it is and we just have to get on with it and just hope we do
not have any further issues in the next two days and we can get in as many
laps in with George and Nicholas on Thursday and Friday to set us up in the
best possible way for Melbourne.
In regard to the coronavirus threat does it change anything in regard to
the preparation for the first races of the season?
I think it is obviously a serious issue that probably all businesses are
dealing with at the moment and F1 is a global sport that travels far and
wide it is something that we are monitoring on a day by day basis. Now I
think its got to that point where we are looking at all the advices coming
out of the relevant authorities and that advice is changing day by day so
its a work in progress at the moment. But there are certainly issues that we
are facing in regard to travelling to Melbourne, what happens with Vietnam,
travel to Bahrain etc so I think it is a challenge to everybody.
Have there been any meetings between team bosses and F1 personnel?
Asked about what happens if there are a few cancellations that affects
Liberty's income and the team are on a percentage of that could it make very
critical for Williams going forward as that is a substantial part of your
I think it depends on how many races it effects obviously at the moment it
affects China for for the income that this would bring in it is manageable
.... but if we were to lose more races then it becomes an issue for all the
teams up and down the paddock.
What is you view on testing too much too little?
I think we have too little. I understand it from a cost control point
perspective but when you only have six days of pre-season testing and when
you have to do all that you need to do going into the first few races of the
year its not enough. You might expect us as a team to be on the other side
of the fence as its cheaper but its not at the end of the day and regardless
of any issues that we had faced this year or last year we would be in favour
of having more days of pre-season testing, not a lot but two or three more
days would be helpful because you are always going to get some mitigating
factors that are going to take you off the circuit whether its your own car
issues or engine issues or even the weather where we had snow here two or
three years ago. I think that not having enough days for testing limits the
amount of time for young drivers and I think this is a limiting factor in
the sport certainly for a team like ours that enjoys nurturing young talent
and we have very limited opportunity to put young talent in the race car so
if you can't put them in the race cars how can you evaluate them thereby
creating a scenario where it is very difficult to bring new talent into
On what part have you made the most progression?
I think there are probably two key areas. So from a planning perspective we
have absolutely made huge progress from where we were going into 2019. I
think that is evident for everybody to see by just the fact that we got the
car out on time on Day one and that was a big change for us that took quite
a lot, you know the implementation of a full and comprehensive planning
function at Williams and also a big change in our operation as a team and
how we go about mapping capacity, understanding what capacity we have got,
understanding what lead times. And certainly one of the biggest difference
was in the build quality because it has changed dramatically from this time
last year and that has been really great to see bringing a car that is in
really good shape, that come out of the box to a very high standard of which
we should be proud of. These have been the two biggest changes. But then to
have seen the whole team to do a really great job to pull together to
galvanise as going through major transformation can be difficult for people
but everyone at Williams has embraced it.