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Williams unveil FW27 in Valencia 31 Jan 2005

Mark Webber (AUS) runs the Williams FW27 for the first time. Williams FW27 First Test, Valencia, Spain, 30 January 2005. World © Sutton Williams launch the new Williams FW27. Williams FW27 Launch, Valencia, Spain, 31 January 2005. World © Sutton Williams launch the new Williams FW27. Williams FW27 Launch, Valencia, Spain, 31 January 2005. World © Sutton Williams launch the new Williams FW27. Williams FW27 Launch, Valencia, Spain, 31 January 2005. World © Sutton Williams launch the new Williams FW27. Williams FW27 Launch, Valencia, Spain, 31 January 2005. World © Sutton

Williams revealed their 2005 machine, the FW27, to the assembled media at the Spanish circuit of Valencia on Monday. After the official launch ceremony, the new car made its track debut at the start of its first test session, which will continue until Friday.

“The BMW WilliamsF1 Team’s hopes and aspirations are embodied in this car, and the driver line-up we have announced today,” said team boss Frank Williams. “Ahead of a new season, we are naturally cautious about our prospects, but equally are determined to be a strong force this year.”

Explaining the philosophy behind the new car, technical director Sam Michael added: “Our focus throughout the design cycle has been built around simple variables that affect performance, such as reducing weight and friction while increasing stiffness. As a consequence of focusing on these fundamentals, we have reverted to a single keel configuration for the front suspension geometry.

“We have also been aggressive with our cooling, as witnessed by the extremely low engine bodywork and the large sidepod undercuts. Reliability is the final area we have been determined to pursue, and we have made significant progress, specifically with the gearbox which has been running on-track since November 2004 without problems.”

After their initial laps in the FW27, Mark Webber and newly-announced team mate Nick Heidfeld reported positive first impressions. “A huge amount of work has gone into the FW27 because of the new regulations on aerodynamics and tyres, and BMW have done plenty of work with the two-race engine,” said Webber.

“We have to look for consistency and reliability with both cars and it is going to be a tough season, but after the first runs, I am happy with the car. The guys have done a good job, but I am sure we will find plenty to do in February to get ready.”

For his part Heidfeld reflected: “The FW27 looked great on stage this morning and it felt the same this afternoon on the track. I have only driven a couple of laps so far, but already it feels familiar. Hopefully a strong preparation for the season ahead starts now.”

Williams had a relatively disappointing 2004 campaign, finishing fourth in the constructors’ standings behind Renault. However, they showed a dramatic improvement in form in the latter races, winning the final round in Brazil.