Williams will not “apportion any blame” for the delays which led to the Formula 1 team missing the first two and a half days of pre-season testing. 

The Grove-based outfit was absent from the opening two days of the first pre-season test in Barcelona after hitting delays with its 2019 challenger, the FW42. 

Williams’ latest F1 car finally arrived at the Spanish Grand Prix venue during the early hours of Wednesday morning, before the team turned its first laps shortly after the lunch break with rookie George Russell behind the wheel. 

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CrashTV: 

The issues have fuelled paddock speculation about the future of Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe, after the team produced the slowest car on the 2018 grid and endured one of its worst-ever F1 seasons. 

Asked about reports in the media regarding Lowe’s future, deputy team principal Claire Williams told Sky Sports: “I haven’t paid much attention to it [the media reports] to be honest. 

“There’s always a lot of speculation in these circumstances isn’t there but we don’t apportion any blame at Williams, that’s not the aim of the game or what we need to be focusing our energy on. 

“It’s about us all clubbing together and making sure that we understand why we didn’t manage to get deliver the car then do that after-action review and learn from the mistakes.”

Williams said the team’s return to action was a “blessed relief” following what she described as a “horrible” and “difficult birth” for the FW42, citing a combination of issues as being the cause to the delays. 

“When you fail in this sense it’s normally an amalgamation of things that conspire against you unfortunately,” Williams explained. 

“We need to do our analysis and the most important thing is that we’ve got the car here and we can now spend a bit of time as to what went wrong. 

“Clearly we know the the main culprits - not the main culprits - but why we are delayed… But we don’t want to discuss that. 

“We’re not going to be airing our dirty laundry in public, it’s not appropriate. We’ve got to go through our full analysis back at the factory and then make sure that this never happens again.”

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