The Williams Formula 1 team is working on finding a replacement for outgoing chief technical officer Paddy Lowe following his departure.

Lowe’s exit from Williams was officially confirmed last week after a lengthy period of leave which began in March following a disrupted start to the team’s pre-season preparations.

The Grove-based outfit has endured a nightmare start to the 2019 season with its uncompetitive FW42 and sits bottom of the constructors’ championship as the only team yet to score a point from the opening nine rounds.

Chief designer Doug McKiernan has spearheaded Williams’ technical team in Lowe’s absence.

“We’re happy with the technical management team that we have, and we’re looking at the options that are available to us now and what would fit most appropriately with our structure,” deputy team principal Claire Williams said in Austria.

“As soon as we’ve made a decision, and we can make an announcement, we’ll share it.

“We’ve got to focus on the here and now, and the future, and that’s what we’re doing back at Grove in earnest,” she added.

“A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make sure that we put Williams in the best possible position moving forward, from everyday moving forwards, not for 2020, not for 2021, but for right now.

“We have a very capable technical management team in place that have been working since Paddy’s leave of absence started back in March.

“So our chief designer Doug McKiernan and Adam Carter, who’s our head of design, and Dave Robson who runs engineering trackside, and they’re working really well together.”

McLaren engineering director Pat Fry is understood to be in the process of leaving the team and could be an attractive option for Williams given his vast experience in F1. 

Williams said the team plans to bring further upgrades prior to the summer break and feels the British squad is heading in the right direction.

“I think as everybody has seen over the past few races, we’ve been able to bring new parts to the track, the majority of which have been adopted because they’ve shown greater levels of performance, and we’re slowly closing that gap,” she said.

“I think as everybody knows now, we’ve got more parts coming prior to shutdown that will hopefully bring greater performance to the car as well. We’re making good steps in the right direction, and that’s really nice to see.

“It’s been incredibly difficult for everybody at Williams over the last many, many months now, and it finally feels like we’re heading in the right direction again. There’s more of a spring in everybody’s step, so to speak.”