Williams F1 have launched their FW-38 car ahead of the first Pre-season test Monday.
The Grove base outfit surprised many by releasing images and a statement about the car on social media this morning, a few hours before rivals Ferrari were due to release their car online.
The car once again keeps the iconic Martini colour scheme and Mercedes engine underneath. Williams will also be staying with the same driver line-up of the last two seasons, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, two drivers who have been well paired in their previous seasons together. While the team make no secret of their wish to once again be a podium and possible race winning team. Williams will be looking to make a step forward this year after re-establishing themselves as podium contenders in 2015. Gaining four podiums and a third place finish in the constructor’s championship.
Founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams was quick to praise the team on their work from the last two seasons, but was also aware that staying ahead would be a challenge this year. When asked about the chances of the FW-38 Sir Frank was aware that Pre-season testing held the key, but on the whole he was positive about the car. “We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package and to refine the car ahead of the first race. We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”
Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams was aware the 2016 season was going to be a challenge, with many teams ready to hunt them down. However, she was also aware of the work that the team had been putting in to improve the car. “We are confident that we have made a step forward over the winter and that the FW-38 will build on the strengths of the FW-37 and address some of its weaknesses. We started design work on the car earlier than normal and hopefully this extra development time will stand us in good stead.”
The team were also quick to point out that the car we saw today was “by no means the final product.” And that development packages were already being planned for the first race in Australia next month on Marth 20th.
Pat Symonds, Williams chief technical officer was aware of the weaknesses of the FW-37, but was hopeful the FW-38 would not suffer the same issues. “It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW-37 didn’t match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation.”
The FW-38 will see its first chance at some on track action at the Pre-season test on Monday.
Feature Image credit: Williams Martini Racing Press release