Williams CEO Jost Capito has blamed a simple procedural problem as the cause of a fire that cut short their running at pre-season testing on Friday.
The British squad lost almost a full day of running at the pre-season test in Bahrain, with Nicholas Latifi managing just 12 laps before ending the day in the gravel.
The car’s rear suspension failed due to the sheer heat caused by the overheating brakes, and the Canadian spun off the circuit. The rear of the Williams caught alight spectacularly bringing out the red flags.
Williams have had a strong pre-season test and look like a different outfit compared to previous seasons, and Capito was coy about revealing the specific details of the issues that caused the fire.
“I think 95% it’s clear what it was,” Capito said as quoted by The Race. “Let’s say it was a process that it’s a bit too complicated and that led to a mistake.
“So, very small, but had quite a big defect, it’s too stupid to talk about it!” Capito explained.
As a result of the interrupted running time, Williams have elected to shuffle their programme for the final day of testing on Saturday.
Latifi will get a second bite of the cherry and will run on Saturday morning to make up for lost time. The Canadian will then make way for new team-mate Alex Albon on the afternoon session, with Latifi having another go for a long run before the send of the session.
“He will get the afternoon and in between, just after lunch, Alex will get like a qualifying session because he hasn’t done that,” explained Capito.
“So then they end up about with the same number of laps.”
The final test is currently taking place around the Bahrain International Circuit and has been a regular testing venue for the last few years.
The teams will stay in situ for the week in preparation for the first Grand Prix of the season at Bahrain next weekend.
Capito admits that the loss of a full day of testing will effect Williams’ preparations for the race weekend.
“It will have an impact on the performance of the first races having lost one-sixth of the testing,” Capito concluded.
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