Williams' primary focus at the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season is making sure its car is “reliable and raceable”, rather than focusing on its speed.
The Grove-based squad enters the upcoming season on the back of a challenging 2019 campaign that saw it consistently compete at the back of the field, scoring a single point during the year.
Last month, Williams announced that it could sell its team, having instigated talks with interested parties. Since pre-season testing, it has split with its title sponsor ROKiT, leading it to unveil a brand new livery ahead of the new season.
Although the team is confident it has made steps forward compared to last year, looking at its place in the pecking order is not its priority.
Senior race engineer Dave Robson said: “When we last ran the car in Barcelona, we were encouraged by the improvements made since the end of 2019, however, we are under no illusion that we need to keep working hard and maximise every opportunity we can find to get us further up the grid.
“We are also aware that teams will have taken the opportunity to improve their cars since February; more than ever, predicting the pace of the opposition is difficult and futile.
“Our initial efforts will be on making the most of our car, ensuring that it is reliable and raceable, and on learning for the intense series of races that lie ahead of us.”
The new season will get underway this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with Robson describing the short lap as a challenge for both drivers and engineers.
“Austria is a tricky venue for the first race of the season as the circuit demands efficient downforce, strong ride characteristics and often very high levels of PU cooling,” he said.
“The lap is short and there are few opportunities to make up for a mistake, which increases the pressure on the drivers and the engineers.
“That said, it is a wonderful setting in which to race Formula 1 cars, and it will provide a great atmosphere and intensity despite being staged behind closed doors.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
Would you like to stay up to date with the latest Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 news from GPtoday? Activate free push notifications and be the first to know!