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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New FW35 Launched in Barcelona

The Williams F1 Team launched its 2013 race car the FW35, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain today.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director at Williams says that the team have made good gains over last years design:
It’s a better, more refined Formula One car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work they’ve done
The Press release says that the car has a new gearbox, new rear suspension, new radiators, a new floor, new exhausts, new bodywork, a new nose and a significant weight saving.  In total the team say that over 80% of the car is new, a concept which reflects the McLaren approach to car design this season rather than the evolutionary approach of many of the teams.

As with the vast majority of the teams, Mike Coughlan says one of the main areas open for exploitation is the area around the exhaust and rear bodywork:
The Coanda effect is going to be a big thing for us, There’s been no rule clarification concerning this area of the car, so we’ll work closely with Renault to maximise the available gains. Use of the DRS is more restricted this year, so we’ll take some resource away from that and focus on other areas.
Sir Frank Williams, The Boss, hopes this will bring more success to Grove and is anxious to push the team forward:
We will have to wait until Australia to truly see what we have, but we believe it is step forward from last year’s car which was also a very competitive vehicle...Williams has been at the top many times over the last 30 years. It’s the nature of the sport to have ups and downs, but when we are down we always fight our way back.
Praising the team behind the design of the FW35, which is the last car to be launched this season, and from my personal perspective, the most anticipated, Frank made the following comments about his drivers:
I’m hoping that with the current team we have in place, our new FW35, the combined talent of Pastor, Valtteri and Susie,and the continued support from our partners; we will be in a position to challenge the very best...Pastor is a delightful character who is a massively determined racer, whilst Valtteri is quieter but still waters run deep and he is a highly gifted driver
Pastor Maldonado must make finishing races his priority this year:
Consistency will be our aim to close the gap to the teams in front
While Valtteri Bottas is just waiting for the moment where his F1 career really starts:
We have a busy test programme ahead but I’m really excited. The moment the start lights go out in Melbourne is a moment I have been building towards my whole career

Susie Wolff, the first person to drive the FW35 last week at Idiada, would appear to have been unofficially promoted to third driver duties:
I’m incredibly proud and excited to have increased my role with Williams this year. It’s been a busy start for me as we awaited the arrival of the FW35 but I highly rate Mike Coughlan and his team and they have done a great job. Being the first to get behind the wheel of the FW35 at Idiada was a real honour. It was a special feeling to drive the FW35 out of the garage for the first time and successfully complete its first kilometres in front of many of the team who have put so much effort into the design and build
All Photographs © Williams F1