Paddy Lowe leaves Williams

Williams technical chief Lowe takes

Williams Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe appears to have departed the team following the troubled launch of their 2019 vehicle which ended pre-season testing in Barcelona slowest of all, having missed the opening two and half days of running at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The news comes after Williams missed the first two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona because of delays in getting their auto ready.

Williams has tweaked the front-suspension and mirror design of its new-spec FW42 ahead of next week's Australian Grand Prix after receiving a briefing from the FIA on the car's legality.

Lowe stressed during testing that he did not feel his job was under threat and urged Williams to remain as a unit, believing it will emerge stronger from its current setback.

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Lowe joined Williams in 2017 from champions Mercedes but last year's auto, the first under his supervision, proved ill-handling and uncompetitive.

Williams also announced on Wednesday that they should have both cars ready for Melbourne.

Williams reviewed their 2018 auto and ensured the failures do not repeat onto their 2019 vehicle, but problems with the construction and its debut of their vehicle has raised more concerns for the team.

Williams said in a statement that "Paddy is taking a leave of absence from the business for personal reasons".

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