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Williams FW33 debuts in Spain 01 Feb 2011

The Williams FW33, featuring an interim livery, during testing at Valencia, Spain, 1 February 2010. Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 (L to R): Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director with Frank Williams (GBR) Williams Team Owner.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 12 June 2010 The Williams FW33, featuring an interim livery, during testing at Valencia, Spain, 1 February 2010.

Williams’ 2011 car made its first public appearance in testing at Valencia on Tuesday. The Cosworth-powered FW33 appeared in a blue, interim livery, with its final race colour scheme to be revealed at a later date.

“Until you start testing you’re never sure how you’re going to stack up against the opposition, but we’re optimistic,” said Williams’ technical director Sam Michael. “We think this is a good car, but we’ll have a better overall picture in a few weeks time.”

New rules for 2011 have compelled Williams to take an innovative approach to the new car. The ban on double diffusers and the F-duct forced the aerodynamicists to seek new downforce solutions; KERS had to be incorporated into the layout and the team had to prepare for the arrival of a new tyre supplier, Pirelli, for the first time in five years.

“The design of this year’s car has been pretty smooth,” continued Michael. “We’ve improved our way of working by increasing the communication between the mechanical and aerodynamic departments, and that improved our decision making processes. It allowed us to increase the optimisation time spent on each part of the car.”

The Williams seen at Tuesday’s Valencia test is the first iteration of the FW33. This ‘launch spec’ will be replaced by an aero upgrade at the first race in Bahrain next month and there will be many others during the course of the year. Michael and his technical team expect aerodynamic performance to reach the same levels as 2010, despite there being less aero freedom in the rules.

“Our ambition is get back to the front of the grid,” added team principal Frank Williams. “We know that won’t be easy, but we hope this car will take us closer to the leaders than we were in 2010. As a team, we’re as ambitious now as we’ve ever been.”

Rubens Barrichello will commence Williams’ three-day Valencia test on Tuesday, with new team mate Pastor Maldonado taking over from Wednesday afternoon.

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