Claire Williams has sent out a defiant message that her team will not sacrifice its 2019 Formula 1 campaign to focus on a fresh start next year despite its ongoing troubles and poor performances.

Williams has endured a nightmare start to 2019 after missing the start of pre-season testing before running a car which has a significant pace deficit that also showed up inconsistencies at the hands of its drivers.

With Williams returning to the venue of its winter testing struggles at Circuit de Catalunya ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, the team has confirmed a raft of test parts will be run during Friday practice as it aims to recover from its painful start to the year.

Deputy team principal Williams says her team won’t give up on the current season even if its chances of catching its rivals look unlikely with a key one-and-a-half second pace deficit.

“Williams, in our history, has never given up on a season regardless. It isn’t about giving up,” Williams said. “Clearly we know where we are and it is incredible difficult to even close up the gap even to P9.

“But we are coming to every race, we have test parts for every GP to analyse and determine how much they can bring us.

“Over the course of the year we will bring incremental performance so we are not writing anything off. This is as much of a season for us as any other season regardless of where we are.

“There is a whole loads of items we have brought here and have in the pipeline that we will be running in Friday’s sessions and then further analysis on other parts during the test next week.

“We then have to do the work to understand how much performance it will bring us and then put them in the system again to manufacturer them and put them on the race car.”

This has led to Williams asserting team morale remains strong despite its struggles and hopes the challenge of turning around its fortunes acts as added motivation for the entire team both working trackside and back at its factory.

“It is good, it is hard work to make sure morale is good and where you want it to be for everyone to be at their best,” she explained. “It is something we’ve always worked hard on for a number of years. We have a programme in place to make sure we keep morale where it needs to be.

“Last year on the race team we only lost one person and that wasn’t down to team performance or wanting to jump ship. That tells you the spirit we have in the team at the moment.

“The very fact that people are going over and above to make sure the two or three chassis are ready for this weekend. Everybody knows the journey that they are in and they want to be a part of it. For me the spirit is a typical Williams spirit, everyone is enjoying the challenge.”



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