Williams Martini Racing have unveiled their 2018 F1 car – the FW41.
The team launched their car this evening at an event in London. The FW41 features the familiar Martini sponsorship livery, but underneath is significantly different. The car, which is the first to have major input from Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe, follows a new aerodynamic concept. Lowe says:
“The car has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance. All Formula One cars are an evolution of what has gone before to some extent, but the FW41 does involve a number of departures from the directions that have been pursued in the past.”
Williams has a new driver line-up for 2018, with Russian Sergey Sirotkin joining the team alongside Lance Stroll. Robert Kubica also joins the team as a test and reserve driver, and will put in some mileage in winter testing.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams shared her excitement for the new season:
“I am thrilled to be back and launching our new car, for a new season, with a new, exciting driver line-up. For many months, the team have put a tremendous amount of effort into the FW41 and I’m eager to see both Lance and Sergey take to the track later this month. Our entire team have put a huge amount of effort into the development and production of this year’s car, and we’re all looking forward to seeing it on the track.”
Sirotkin, who took three victories in F1’s support series GP2, said he’s ‘almost living at the factory’:
“I feel really excited ahead of the season. I’ve spent a lot of time at the factory, I’m almost living there at the moment which has been great motivation for me and for all of the people around the factory. It’s been a big enjoyment to start working properly with all the mechanics and engineers, and it’s going well. I’ve been training hard and I’ve been in the simulator regularly, going through different set-ups with the car, different tracks, seat fittings and also a lot of engineering meetings and factory tours to meet everyone. I’ve been having fun with all the guys from different departments. It’s busy times, but I am really enjoying it. I’m getting ready for the season in the best possible way.”
Williams finished fifth in the 2017 Constructors’ Championship. They’re likely to have a hard fight on their hands if they are to maintain that this year, with both McLaren and Renault expected to make large steps forward.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.