APRIL 28, 2018
Drivers not to blame for Williams crisis says Lowe
Paddy Lowe has played down claims Williams' driver lineup is a major factor in the once-great British team's 2018 collapse.
The team's technical boss admits that Williams is grappling with "several problems" with its car.
"We're not making them public but there's a major operation inside Williams to fix them," Lowe told Brazil's Globo.
Last week, ousted Williams driver Felipe Massa said the inexperience of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin is not helping.
"I don't think that's the case, given our situation," Lowe insisted.
"To fight for the title, ok, the driver needs that experience. When you talk about that final half tenth, only the great champions are able to find it.
"But we do not expect our two very young drivers to be part of that group now.
"We're really satisfied with them. I think they both have the potential to grow in F1 and today, within our limitations, they're demonstrating that.
"Williams' lack of results today is a problem with the car, not the drivers. It's up to us to solve them," Lowe added.
He also played down rumours of a rift with Stroll's father and backer, the billionaire Lawrence Stroll, insisting the relationship is "good".
"He is very supportive of the group, and even me, and is trying to be available to help. I would say that he's a great partner, as is SMP Racing."
Lowe also ruled out fixing Williams' problems by buying in talent, such as the newly departed McLaren technical boss Tim Goss.
"No," said Lowe. "We hired Doug McKiernan in February, but I have no plans to get more people. The challenge is to coordinate the people we have in the right way.
"Sometimes things don't work -- problems arise that nobody expects and it's not necessarily related to the way the engineers are working.
"F1 teams always go through good times and difficult times -- look at the grid and you'll see it happens everywhere," he added.