Williams chief Paddy Lowe takes 'leave' from Formula 1 team

Lowe takes leave of absence from Williams due to personal reasons

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

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has stood down from his role nine days before the first practice session for the 2019 F1 season.

The vehicle eventually ran for the first time on the third day of the eight-day pre-season test.

The auto 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.

Two years ago, Paddy Lowe was the messiah for Williams.

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Pre-season testing for the Grove based team has been tough the late debut of the FW42.

It ostensibly leaves Williams without a technical director just eight days before the opening Grand Prix of the season gets underway in Australia.

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

Speculation regarding Lowe's future grew further when it became clear that Williams were again struggling for pace with their new vehicle, however, the 56-year-old refuted suggestions his job was on the line, insisting he had "not paid attention" to the media speculation.

Williams' slow start, plus on-track performance in testing, led to speculation over Lowe's immediate future at the team.

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