Williams FW33 debuts in Spain 01 Feb 2011
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 youre never sure how youre going to stack up against the opposition, but were optimistic, said Williams technical director Sam Michael. We think this is a good car, but well 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 years car has been pretty smooth, continued Michael. Weve 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 Tuesdays 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 wont be easy, but we hope this car will take us closer to the leaders than we were in 2010. As a team, were as ambitious now as weve ever been.
Rubens Barrichello will commence Williams three-day Valencia test on Tuesday, with new team mate Pastor Maldonado taking over from Wednesday afternoon.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.