Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has shrugged off speculation about his position behind under threat at the British team following its extensive delays building its FW42 Formula 1 car and missing the start of pre-season testing.

The technical boss concedes the series of events which led to Williams missing a shakedown and the opening two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing remains “incredibly complicated” and the delays cannot be put down to a single incident or person responsible.

Lowe also feels it would be unproductive in Williams’ recovery if quick management changes were triggered by the mistakes and would prefer the current team to learn from the incidents.

“I haven’t paid attention to those subjects in the media, I am working very hard and there is an awful lot to do working as a team at all levels of the company. I have no concerns on that side,” Lowe said on his future at Williams.

“It was also assumed that we could conclude something so simple as to laying blame on a person in what is an incredibly complicated set of circumstances.

“What I have observed is over many years in Formula 1 there is a habit of changing the people when things don’t work. What I’ve also observed is that the stronger teams are the ones who do exactly the opposite.

“Every difficulty and every problem in a team is an opportunity to learn, not only to not repeat it but to be even stronger next time. I came up with that line at a previous place and they still use it – every difficulty will be regretted by the competition because we will come back stronger – but when you have an issue you take that learning and you turn it into an advantage.

“What you shouldn’t do is go and get rid of people because you will throw away that experience and knowledge. It is very important that the team build together, develop together and grow together to become stronger and more effective.”

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Lowe has also played down the significance of missing the start of pre-season testing given F1 teams have previously recovered from the same fate, most recently Force India in 2015, who effectively didn’t run a new F1 car throughout pre-season testing only to go on to enjoy its best-ever campaign finishing fifth in the world constructors’ championship.

The Williams chief feels he has support from the rest of his management team and is eager to push on with the team’s recovery heading towards the season opener in Australia in two weeks’ time.

“I am not aware of any different view. Something to bare in mind is it not the first time teams haven’t shown up on day one,” he said. “It is an incredibly difficult task to get a car out to run particularly with the constant desire to keep pushing performance.

“If you are pushing out the same car that you did last year it would be all quite easy. While we’ve had a failure in terms of delivery in context we are still here, we have a car running reliably and we’ll put it behind us and learn from it to make us stronger.

“All I can say is two things; firstly is there won’t be a single answer or a matter of saying ‘it is that which went wrong’. Looking at it as a whole, the thing that caught us out is the sheer quantity and complexity of parts you have to produce to make a Formula 1 car these days.”

Lowe started his F1 career with Williams in 1987 as part of its electronics team, helping Nigel Mansell to the 1992 world title, before moving to McLaren a year later. After 20 years at the Woking-based team, climbing up to the role of technical director, he joined Mercedes in 2013 as executive director overseeing the start of the German manufacturers’ era of dominance.

Lowe made his Williams return in 2017 as chief technical officer and a shareholder in the team.



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