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Positive start for new Williams 25 Jan 2008

Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams and Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams with the new FW30 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 22 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Nico Hulkenberg (GER) tests the new Williams FW30. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 21 January 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton (L to R): Tony Ross (GBR) Williams Race Engineer talks with Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Valencia, Spain, Wednesday 23 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Williams are confident they may be able to celebrate their historic 30th year of Formula One racing with a bang, after the team’s 2008 challenger passed its first test with flying colours. The new car completed over 1,400 kilometres at Spain’s Valencia circuit this week during the British team’s four-day session.

On Monday, tester Nico Hulkenberg was charged with debuting the FW30 for a brief 20-lap shakedown. Hulkenberg then handed the new car over to race driver Nico Rosberg, who managed to complete a comprehensive Grand Prix simulation. Rosberg eventually finished third fastest in the times with a best lap of 1m 12.721s.

“It’s always special to finally get to test the new car,” he said. “It was a positive start for us, particularly as we completed a race distance with the FW30 on its debut without any problems. It is quite different to last year’s car in many ways so it will be very important that we make the most of the upcoming tests to try and extract its full potential.”

The young German’s team mate, Kazuki Nakajima, was also in attendance but charged with testing the older interim car over Tuesday and Wednesday, while Rosberg acclimatised to the FW30. Nakajima eventually got his first taste of the new machine on Thursday and recorded the fourth-fastest time of the day, a 1m 11.971s.

“This week marked the initial test for the FW30 and it was a good beginning from a reliability and performance point of view,” explained the team’s technical director, Sam Michael. “After Nico Hulkenberg shook the car down on Monday’s installation day, Nico Rosberg carried out the initial setup and reliability work and Kazuki took over for the last day to work on long runs and some set-up items.”

The team will now stay in Spain but will move to Barcelona for next week’s multi-team test where Rosberg and Nakajima are both expected to drive FW30s over the three-day session.