Paddy Lowe takes 'leave of absence' from Williams F1

Lowe takes leave of absence from Williams due to personal reasons

Lowe takes leave of absence from Williams due to personal reasons

With just 11 days until the first Grand Prix of the season, Williams has confirmed that Paddy Lowe "has taken a leave of absence for personal reasons".

The vehicle was also the slowest on track when it did appear, adding to the woes of a team who finished last overall in 2018 and have not won a race since 2012.

His departure comes after the team failed to complete its new FW42 chassis in time for it to participate in the start of testing.

Lowe has been at Williams since early in the 2017 season, but has come under pressure after the team's 2019 vehicle - the FW42 - was heavily delayed and wasn't ready to run until the third afternoon of pre-season testing.

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.

But, one week before the F1 season begins in Australia, it has emerged that Lowe has stepped away from his role.

That increased expectations for the FW42 but also raised the significance of the auto in terms of the competence of Williams's new senior structure.

After Williams missed the first two days of testing due to delays in getting the vehicle ready, Paddy Lowe has taken leave for personal reasons.

It is not yet clear whether Lowe will return to the position.

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