Williams reveals the FW41

Williams Martini Racing has become the second Formula 1 outfit to officially reveal its 2018 car at an event in London.

The FW41 is the first race car designed by chief technical officer Paddy Lowe and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer.

The Mercedes-powered design looks significantly different to its predecessor, as Williams followed through on its plan to change the team’s aerodynamic philosophy.

Williams was a regular podium contender at the start of the V6 engine era and finished third in the constructors’ championship in 2014 and 2015, but has since dropped down the competitive order.

It finished fifth for second year in succession in 2017 with 83 points, 55 fewer than in 2016 and 104 points adrift of Force India in fourth.

Lance Stroll and rookie Sergey Sirotkin, who replaces Felipe Massa, will form the team’s driver line-up this season, with Robert Kubica fulfilling the role of reserve and development driver.

Still not keen on that halo safety device. Blame the FIA in pushing this feature through… Anyway, best of luck to Williams in the upcoming Formula 1 world championship.

4 thoughts to “Williams reveals the FW41”

  1. Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says his team is targeting a “step change” in performance against Formula 1’s biggest teams with its new FW41.

    Images of Williams’ 2018 F1 car were revealed on Thursday night, with the car being the first that has been designed under the complete influence of Lowe since he joined last year.

    Although aware that the fight for top positions will be incredibly tough this year – with McLaren and Renault tipped to challenge F1’s big three outfits – Lowe says that his team has its own bold ambitions for decent progress too.

    “We are trying to achieve an element of step change and not just a progression,” said Lowe, at a Williams team event launch in London.

    “We were two seconds or so a lap slower than the front runners [in 2017] and that is something we would like to close up considerably. So we are looking for a step change.”

    He added: “We are hoping to be well up there, but we recognise some incredible competition out there.

    “Obviously the front three teams are established in a good position. We have Force India who did a terrific job last year and beat us in the championship.

    “We also have McLaren with a different engine: they will be a threat. And we have Renault emerging. So that is already six out of the nine teams we are competing against. We don’t take anything for granted.”

    Lowe said that data from the factory about progress with the car had been encouraging, but knew that it would only be when the action starts that the team would know how good a job it had done.

    “Broadly we’ve hit our targets, but we are always pushing until the end,” he said. “We have got to the stage where we are finding things in the tunnel and it’s on the cusp of ‘can we get to them for the first race?’

    “We’ve hit performance targets we set internally, but there are a couple of caveats. Are those targets ambitious enough and will those transfer to the track? That remains to be seen.

    “One of the things we can measure is on absolute performance. So while we are reluctant to say we want to come third, our fourth or fifth because we cannot predict what others have done, we would like to see a lap time gain against the guys who were taking pole position last year.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  2. Williams reserved driver Robert Kubica will get the opportunity to appear in three FP1 outings in 2018. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Robert Kubica will drive in three Formula 1 first practice sessions this year, including Spain and Austria, as part of his reserve and development role.

    The Pole had pushed for a race seat alongside Lance Stroll but lost out to 22-year-old Sergey Sirotkin and ultimately decided to take a supporting role.

    As part of the arrangement, Kubica will drive in Barcelona pre-season testing, in-season testing and three first practice sessions n 2018.

    “I will do three FP1s,” said Kubica, when speaking at the launch of Williams’ 2018 campaign. “I will start in Barcelona, then I think Austria and then another one.

    “I will do some pre-season testing and in-season testing. It was important to have the chance to drive. Currently the regulations are such that driving is limited.

    “The simulator plays an important role, as I am part of this project it is important to build up a link between this tool and the real world.”

    Kubica said his primary focus will be to supporting the team but there will be a limit to what he can do in terms of mentoring the drivers.

    “Of course they make their job and I will for sure try to support, but I will never be in the position to teach them unless they think I can help them,” he said.

    “The most important thing is to help the team and support the team – otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

    “In the end once you are in the same boat you work in same direction. Once I knew I would make this job I agree myself it is my job to help them and support.”

    Kubica admitted last year that 90 percent of his F1 driving ability is the same as before he suffered life-threatening injuries in a rally crash in 2011.

    When asked by Motorsport.com what he needs to do to prove he has what it takes to secure a race drive, he said: “The clock is running I am 33.

    “Last winter there was a lot of talk around and a lot of people put own ideas and evaluation of myself but the only one who understands my limitations and what I need is myself.

    “First of all, there is a role that I am covering this year and I have to make sure I am able to deliver and able to help the team to achieve the targets or the results we want and then we will see what the future will bring.

    “Twelve months ago nobody would say I would have different tests in 2017. So who knows what the future will bring.”

    He added: “I would prefer to be here as a race driver but if you look at it from a different perspective and where I was 12 months ago with nobody thought I would be in a position to drive an F1 car.

    “I was more convinced now than ever that I am able to drive an F1 car even though the limitations are quite big.”

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