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2018 F1

Williams will struggle to replace Martini – Paddy Lowe

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Paddy Lowe has admitted that Williams will struggle to replace departing sponsor Martini for 2019.

Martini announced it is leaving the British team at the worst possible time, just before Williams’ performance badly slumped and designer Ed Wood inexplicably left.

When asked about Martini’s departure and how the money will be replaced, technical boss Lowe said in Barcelona: “It’s a difficult situation.

“There’s no easy answer to that question. It’s clear that we, and I include myself in that, did not work well enough and for the past two months did not achieve the progress we should have.

“It complicates the commercial situation but that’s the sport we’re in,” Lowe added.

However, he denied there is a link between long-time designer Wood’s departure and the dire performance of the 2018 car.

“Ed decided to leave to do other things, but it had nothing to do with the problems we’re having on the track,” said Lowe.

“His departure creates a vacancy but there’s no rush to fill it,” he added.

Lowe said Williams is working hard on fixing the 2018 car’s problems, but cautioned that it will take some time before they see the track.

“None of the solutions that will help to improve the situation have been implemented, which is why we have such serious problems on this track,” Lowe said in Barcelona. “Barcelona does not forgive shortcomings.

“But I’m not writing off the season. Yes our pace is really bad, but this is because the drivers are prevented from driving it properly.

“The car has its advantages, but certain shortcomings do not allow them to be seen.”

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