In a bid to maximise development of their new cars, F1 teams try to leave it as late as possible before releasing them. Williams, who are looking to bounce back after a tough season, are doing just that - and as a result have decided to cancel their shakedown planned for Saturday so they can focus on hitting the ground running when pre-season testing begins in Spain on Monday morning.
Williams aren’t the only team up against it, ahead of a season that starts earlier and features aerodynamic rule changes. Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul said on Tuesday at his team’s launch that it will be “super tight” for his team to be ready for testing, admitting they perhaps need to be more conservative in their preparations next season.
Williams suffered one of their bleakest seasons last year, finishing last in the constructors’ championship, but have undergone a year-long inquest to find solutions to the problems that left them at the back of the grid.
On Monday, Williams revealed a fresh 2019 livery, complete with new title sponsor, on a 2018 showcar, with work continuing on this year's challenger.
Explaining the decision to not run the car on Saturday, Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said in a statement to Formula 1.com: “As anyone would expect, we have had an extremely aggressive engineering programme over the winter.
"As such, we have taken the decision not to run our car during our filming day this weekend in order to allow the team to maximise the time at the factory before we head to Barcelona for the first day of the test on February 18.”