Williams is not prepared to “write-off” the 2019 Formula 1 season despite a torrid start, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.

After delays disrupted its pre-season programme, Williams has endured a difficult opening six races and remains the only team yet to record points so far this year.

But Williams is adamant her side has made improvements, after George Russell matched the team’s best result of 2019 in Monaco with a 15th-placed finish, ahead of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point and both Alfa Romeo drivers.

“Nothing is a write-off at Williams, ever,” Williams stressed.

“It never has been and it never would be, regardless of where we are. It’s just not our mindset a Williams. We don’t write a season off just because we aren’t doing well.

“For us, at the moment, we’re really looking at ’19 and ’20 very much as almost two seasons, where it’s just evolution and development and we’ve just got to keep bringing performance at each and every racewe’ve definitely seen that we’ve done that.

“We’re closing the gap to the ninth-placed team and we’ve got to keep doing that as the season progresses and we’re looking at obviously what 2020 looks like from a development perspective, what we’re going to be focusing our resources and attention on, to make sure that we certainly do a whole lot better job next year for us.

“And then again, we’ve got to look at ’21 and make sure we’ve got the right resources in place and the focus in place to take advantage of that situation.

“Clearly, as everyone knows and have talked about a lot, ’21 could be a really great opportunity for us with the cost cap that’s coming and with whole new technical regulations.”

Williams said the team is making encouraging progress with its development and is targeting to introduce a “significant performance” upgrade package by mid-season.

“It wasn't the start to the season that we envisaged - but I think we anticipated what was coming,” Williams explained.

“I definitely feel that we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now and I think probably just from the time sheets and in Barcelona, we demonstrated that we are closing that gap.

“It may be slow but we all know that it takes time to bring performance to your car. There’s definitely a lot of good work going on back at the factory that people may not necessarily be seeing yet.

“The aero team are doing a great job finding performance in the tunnel and we’re going to be bringing that to races over the coming weeks and months with a package coming mid-way through the season that we will hope will bring some significant performance to us.

“There are definitely signs of improvement. I think there’s a certain positivity in the team at the moment. Morale is still pretty good, and that’s all we can ask of everyone: just fighting hard, not giving up and keep on brining performance to the car.”