Ever since the launch of the 2016 season was brought forward two weeks, there was concern throughout the paddock that teams may not be ready for the pre-season tests.

Now it seems the earlier start to the season has affected Williams’ development, with Felipe Massa earlier in the week commenting that Williams “wasn’t quite 100%” for the season opener in Australia.

The Brazilian was referring to the absence of certain parts of the car that weren’t ready for the Australian Grand Prix.

“I think a lot of people haven’t realised the significance moving this race forward two weeks,” Symonds said.

“Designing a Formula 1 car is quite a long project, so you start it off with the date in mind and the first test was the beginning of March and we’d be racing at the end of March, that’s what we thought we were looking at. When it came forward two weeks we were well into the project, you can’t suddenly just invent two weeks from nowhere.”

Although it’s not as bad as it seems, as Symonds explained Massa’s comments clarifying that the parts in question were part of the program started in September, and weren’t rushed after the conclusion of the pre-season test.

“We’ve certainly got parts that we will have in Bahrain and China, I’m not sure exactly when [they will be ready], but yeah I’d love to have them now because there’s performance.”

Despite the rush to have the car ready for Melbourne, Symonds is confident that the rest of the paddock will be feeling the pinch of revised season-opener.

“I honestly think that everyone is behind where they want to be, I’m sure there are plenty of people here not looking forward to running in the wet on a circuit with walls next to the track because they haven’t got levels of spares they wish they had.

“Equally, there’ll be people who they’ve got stuff that’s come through the tunnel a little bit late and they haven’t got it on the cars.”

George Hitchens Photography

Image via Williams Martini Racing / LAT

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Josh Kruse

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