Claire Williams says despite her team’s desperate start to the 2019 Formula 1 world championship the squad isn’t waiting for a miracle and is implementing its own fixes spearheaded by the return of co-founder Sir Patrick Head.

The Williams deputy team principal has overseen Head’s appointment as a chief technical consultant following the expected departure of Paddy Lowe after he took an indefinite leave of absence before the opening round in Australia.

Williams has endured a nightmare start to this season after missing the first two-and-a-half days of winter testing due to delays in building its FW42, with the car considerably off the pace of its F1 rivals over the opening four rounds.

Further struggles have followed due to limited parts available to Williams, before a disaster collision with a loose manhole cover which wrecked George Russell’s chassis in FP1 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but Williams isn’t letting these issues hinder the team’s recovery plans.

“Ahead of this weekend I was kind of feeling there was a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, and then this happens [Russell’s FP1 manhole cover hit], but I’m not going to worry too much about that. It’s one of those things.” Williams said. “Patrick coming in obviously for us is a great thing. He’s acting as a guide for our team of engineers at the moment, just making sure that they’re doing everything that they should be doing.

“We haven’t had the best year, clearly everybody has seen that. It started with not getting our chassis to testing, and we’ve had to really play catch up off the back of that.

“So we are now in a position where we have all our race quantities, we have the quality on those race quantities that we needed, and now we’re looking to bring the upgrades that have literally been sitting on a shelf as we’ve cleared the backlog out of manufacturing.

“So there is some light at the end of the tunnel, I think China demonstrated that we’ve brought a little bit of performance to the car, but we’re still far too far behind the ninth-placed team at the moment.

“We’re doing a lot of work back at Williams. If anyone thinks that we’re just hoping for a miracle or that things will just go our way at some point, that’s not the case. A lot of work has been going on to make sure that we put ourselves in the right position. Obviously Patrick is playing a role in that as well.”

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