Williams unveil the FW35 in Spain 19 Feb 2013
Williams became the final team to launch their 2013 car on Tuesday morning, as the Renault-powered FW35 was unveiled in the Barcelona pit lane at the start of this week's four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
To be raced by 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado and new team mate Valtteri Bottas, Williams hope the car - which features improvements in several key areas over its FW34 predecessor - will help them improve on their eighth place in last year's standings.
Given the rule stability over the winter, Im pleased with the gains that weve been able to make with this car, said Williams technical director, Mike Coughlan. Its a better, more refined Formula One car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work theyve done.
Despite being an evolution of 2012s car, more than 80 percent of the FW35 is new. It has a new gearbox, new rear suspension, new radiators, a new floor, new exhausts, new bodywork, a new nose and a significant amount of weight has been saved as well.
With many new parts on the car, the team has carried out a lot of reliability work over the winter. The gearbox alone has already completed 3,200 kilometres on the dyno, a lot of which was conducted in the form of five straight Grand Prix weekends.
The car will continue to be developed throughout the year, beginning with an aerodynamic upgrade in time for the first race. By seasons end it is expected that the FW35 will have made strong performance improvements and Coughlan is in no doubt over the main area of gain.
The Coanda effect is going to be a big thing for us, Coughlan said. Theres been no rule clarification concerning this area of the car, so well work closely with Renault to maximise the available gains. Use of the DRS is more restricted this year, so well take some resource away from that and focus on other areas.
Frank Williams, team principal, added: A group of talented people with good imagination and plenty of courage have been working together to build the Williams Renault FW35. We will have to wait until Australia to truly see what we have, but we believe it is step forward from last years car which was also a very competitive vehicle. 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.
Williams has been at the top many times over the last 30 years. Its the nature of the sport to have ups and downs, but when we are down we always fight our way back. Im hoping that with the current team we have in place, our new FW35, the combined talent of Pastor, Valtteri and (development driver) Susie (Wolff), and the continued support from our partners; we will be in a position to challenge the very best.
Maldonado will give the FW35 its track debut in Barcelona on Tuesday morning and in total the car will get eight days of testing before heading to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Starting my third season with Williams is important for both myself and the team, said Maldonado. Weve been working hard to develop the car and improve our performance. Last year we won a race and were competitive, but this season we must be even more competitive which I believe is possible. Consistency will be our aim to close the gap to the teams in front.
There are a number of changes this season; I have a new race engineer and a new teammate in Valtteri, but there is a nice atmosphere right now as we are all competitive and know each other well. Being part of the Williams family is very special as a driver and I want to thank Frank for not only giving me the opportunity to drive for him, but also to deliver a win. My goal is to help take the team back to the top.
Ahead of his first season of Formula One competition, Bottas commented: It feels great to now be promoted to race driver with Williams this season. Its a big step and Im really looking forward to it. I have been doing a lot of training, meeting with my engineers and working in the simulator in preparation; so I feel ready.
We know we have improved our car from last season but I am looking forward to seeing how it compares on track. We have a busy test programme ahead but Im really excited. The moment the start lights go out in Melbourne is a moment I have been building towards my whole career.
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