Despite being the first team to unveil rendered images of their 2014 car – the FW36 – it wasn’t until during day one of the first test that the world got to see the car in all its glory.
The FW36 is the culmination of more than two years of research and development by the team’s technical departments in Grove and it incorporates the power unit from the team’s new partner, Mercedes-Benz. The design phase for the new car was completed by mid-September.
The team will run with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in the upcoming season.
“There’s a lot more technology on the cars this year,” Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds explained. “We’ve had turbo-charged engines in F1 before; what’s different this time is that much more than just an engine change, it is a completely different system. We’ve gone from a slightly hybridised normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.”
“I’m confident that we’ll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year,”Symonds concluded. “Our ambition for the year ahead is to have a strong 2014 season.”
Electrical issues and the need to replace a critical sensor delayed Williams’ debut on track, but the car eventually got running with Valtteri Bottas at the wheel.
“It feels like a very different car compared to last year in the way it handles as well as the power,” Bottas explained. “After only a few laps we found a few things we can improve which is also good, so we need to start working on those things tomorrow.”