Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe is to take a "leave of absence" from Formula 1, the team confirmed to reporters on Wednesday.
Lowe's position at the former champions had been called into question after they failed to finish their new auto in time for the start of testing in Barcelona and turned up two days late. A auto that was late for pre-season testing could be tolerated. His first auto, the FW41 scored just seven points across the season in what was a disastrous year.
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.
Where next for Williams after failed Lowe gamble - F1
Now, in the wake of Paddy Lowe's leave of absence, it has been revealed that following testing the FIA has raised questions over the legality of the FW42's mirrors and front suspension, which must be resolved in time for Melbourne.
It ostensibly leaves Williams without a technical director just eight days before the opening Grand Prix of the season gets underway in Australia.
Williams reviewed their 2018 auto and ensured the failures do not repeat onto their 2019 vehicle, but problems with the construction and its debut of their vehicle has raised more concerns for the team. The return to a team where he had once played a key role in the successful active ride programme was supposed to set Williams back on the path to the good times.