Williams car vastly improved, despite delay, says Lowe
Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says driver Robert Kubica has reported that the team's FW42 car is vastly improved to their offering last year, despite the team being beset by the "embarrassment" of delivering their new challenger to pre-season testing late.
Williams had to sit out the first two days of action in Barcelona, and have only truly began to run in earnest this week, with Kubica and George Russell each managing over 100 laps over Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lowe came under particular scrutiny amid the delay, although suggestions that his job might have been on the line now appear to be wide of the mark.
Indeed, the former Mercedes man could be left smiling if Kubica's initial feedback translates into a positive season for the beleaguered British squad.
"Reliability, we've shown in the days running this week that we're where we need to be," Lowe said. "It seems to be pretty good, so the next aspect is the quality of the car.
"Robert in particular has a lot more experience of last year's car than George – Robert has driven the old car around here a lot in particular.
"He's made very encouraging comments on the qualities of the car and he feels we've made a huge step forwards in terms of the platform, in terms of a car that is far more drivable.
"[It is] a car you can work with from a driving point of view. You can control the management of tyres, control the balance and the pace, which was not a description you could give last year's car.
"So that's very encouraging. It doesn't talk about speed, but does talk about a platform and that was one of our main objectives over the winter: to design and implement a process within our engineering that would make cars with better properties and deliver better properties.
"That's a big step for us and a better foundation from which to move forwards to next stage."
Lowe echoed previous claims from deputy team principal Claire Williams that an investigation into the full causes of the delay was yet to have taken place, but he hinted that the huge volume of work required to adapt to the new regulations played a big role.
"In general, the thing that has caught us out is the sheer quantity and complexity of parts you need to make an F1 car these days," he said.
"These cars are the most complicated cars in the history of formula 1. That's not unique to this year, it's the case almost by definition almost every year."
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