Claire Williams has spoken of the need for patience in Williams’ Formula 1 recovery, saying it will take “a long time” to bounce back from its slump to the foot of the constructors’ championship in 2018.

Williams endured its worst F1 season to date last year as it scored just seven points en route to last place in the teams’ standings, recording only three top-10 finishes.

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Williams has made a number of changes for 2019, including an all-new driver line-up of Robert Kubica and George Russell, who unveiled the team’s new livery and title sponsor, Rokit, on Monday.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, deputy team boss Williams urged caution, saying that while the focus is on an improved showing through the coming year, the recovery will not be instant.

“This year is still a journey for us. It will continue to be so until we get back to where we want to be, and that’s on the top step of the podium,” Williams said.

“Obviously we were last in the championship last year. It takes a long time to get back from that, it’s going to take a lot of hard work.

“We’ve got some great people at Williams. We’ve really left no stone unturned to make sure we address every area of weakness within the team.

“But as I said, that’s going to take a bit of time. So we’ll see where we get to next year, but it’s got to be a year of improvement.”

Williams is one of only three teams on the F1 grid that does not have a close link to a major manufacturer, with the likes of Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso set to draw closer to Ferrari and Red Bull-Honda respectively through 2019.

“Of course they aren’t helpful for independent constructors as we are, as McLaren are, that build and construct and develop our race cars in house with our own people,” Williams said when asked if the team was at a disadvantage compared to many other midfield teams.

“But I know our governing body and the promoters, FOM, are working hard in order to bring new regulations about from ’21 and beyond that will see that capability change somewhat."

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