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Williams: New update will decide if 2019 F1 car direction was right

The Williams Formula 1 team believes a mid-season update package will decide whether its change of philosophy for its 2019 car was the correct decision

Williams has been on the back foot since it arrived late to pre-season testing and required changes pre-season for its car to be legal for the season opener.

It has since been firmly rooted to the back of the grid, but there were signs of progress at both the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

Why solving a people problem should fix Williams

Williams is planning a major upgrade that it hopes will provide "significant" performance, and its senior race engineer Dave Robson says it will prove key to assessing its philosophy choice for 2019.

"Those upgrades when they come will be a big guide to where we really are," said Robson.

"Coming into this year we did change the philosophy of the car for good reason.

"Now we need to see whether we are just a little bit behind the curve and can catch up, or actually if we've made a mistake and might have to go back [to an older philosophy].

"That is the main theme between now and the [summer] break."

F1's regulations will remain stable in 2020 ahead of a planned overhaul the following year.

With the 2021 regulations looming, teams have little incentive to try radical approaches in '20.

Robson says if the upgrades fail to demonstrate an improvement to the 2019 Williams, it will have to make sizeable changes for next season.

"If it turns out that the concept really is flawed then we have to get a clear answer on that [if a change is required]," he said.

"We can still evolve our way out of that. I don't think there is anything so heavily baked in that is going to influence next year's car."

Robson added that he believes Williams has now recovered from its late start to 2019 and that is has maximised the current package ahead of its updates.

"We started on the back foot in terms of not having the time we wanted in Barcelona [testing], and so the testing we wanted to do just gets delayed. I think we have caught up with that," he said.

"We are now at the point where operationally and getting the most out of the car we have got, we are close to it.

"That is a lot of what we have seen over the six races we have seen, so it is a case of continuing to do that and waiting for bits to come."

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