Pre-season for Formula 1 has officially kicked off with Williams officially releasing computer-generated images of their 2017 car, the FW40.
For many fans this is the first opportunity to see what the 2017 cars are going to look like following the drastic rule changes. It was decided by the F1 Strategy Group that this seasons cars should look ‘more aggressive’ resulting in a huge emphasis on aerodynamics, which when coupled with other rule changes as well, are set to make the cars up to six seconds a lap quicker than their 2016 counterparts.Williams have once again stuck with their iconic Martini livery with a Mercedes engine underneath. The team are aiming to re-start their momentum from the first two seasons of F1’s hybrid engine era, after slipping from third to fifth in last year’s Constructors’ Championship, with Force India leapfrogging them.
The team will be hoping their driver line up will help secure them the points they need to climb the Constructors again. Eighteen-year-old Canadian rookie Lance Stroll joins the team’s driver line-up after winning the European F3 championship last year. The Canadian has undergone several testing days in the old Williams car as well as a lot of time in the simulator, which will hopefully put him in a good position for the season.
He will be joined by the second oldest driver on the grid, Felipe Massa. Massa had originally retired from F1 at the end of last season after a send off in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi. But following the shock announcement of Nico Rosberg retiring from Mercedes who then hired Valtteri Bottas to race for them, Williams were prompted to ask the Brazilian to perform an unexpected U-turn to provide an experienced partner for Stroll.
Sauber will follow Williams in releasing images of their car online on Monday the 20th of February. While the first 2017 car to be formally unveiled will be Renault’s RS17 which will be launched the day after on the Tuesday in London. Next week will also witness a flurry of car launches with Force India, Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Haas, and McLaren staging full unveilings. The Williams FW40 itself will be launched in the flesh on Saturday February 25th.
2017 car launch dates
Monday February 20th Sauber, C36
Tuesday February 21st Renault, RS17
Wednesday February 22nd Force India, VJM10
Thursday February 23rd Mercedes, W08
Friday February 24th (am) McLaren, MCL32
Friday February 24th (pm) Ferrari,
Saturday February 25th Williams, FW40
Sunday February 26th Toro Rosso, STR12
Sunday February 26th Red Bull, RB13
Sunday February 26th Haas, VF17
Feature Image Credit: Williams Martini Racing Press Release (Still taken from the Video)