Williams Martini Racing has become the first team to officially unveil its 2016 car ahead of the new season.
With pre-season testing set to commence in Barcelona next week, most teams have opted for a quiet pit-lane roll out at the start of the test. Renault Sport F1 has had a team launch with an interim car and livery while Red Bull Racing revealed their new livery but not car in London during the week.
Ferrari are due to launch their car online this afternoon but Williams got in first, revealing photos of the FW38.
“Wiliams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the championship the past two seasons,” Sir Frank Williams commented. “This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us. Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough. We have a very stable team going into 2016, with Felipe [Massa] and Valtteri [Bottas] teaming up for a third successive season.”
“They work well together and both have the ideal blend of speed and consistency,” he continued. “Our technical team has also remained very consistent which will be to our advantage and we have some of the best engineering minds on the grid at our disposal.”
Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds explained the concept behind the FW38. “The FW37 was a pretty effective car and so we concentrated on understanding the areas where we could improve it without losing the attributes which made it effective,” he said. “It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn’t match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes which we hope will improve the situation.”
Drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will both drive the new car in Barcelona next week. “Securing third in the Constructors’ Championship for two consecutive years is a great achievement and one that comes with a lot of expectation – a momentum which I am excited to build on going into the new season,” Massa revealed. “The team at the factory have worked really hard on the new car and we have spent a lot of time understanding where we need to improve. I have a lot of confidence in the team at Williams and I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the FW38 to see how it performs. I’m equally delighted to be team-mates with Valtteri for another year. He is a very talented driver who brings a lot to the team.”
Bottas shares Massa’s optimism for the year ahead. “This is always a really interesting and exciting time of the year because we have a new car and we can’t wait to get it out on track to see how it feels,” he explained. “It’s been a good winter and from what I’ve seen we seem to be headed in a good direction with this car. Testing next week will be our chance to see how our performance has improved since the last race. The development of the FW38 has been all positive in theory, now we just need to see it on track.”
“We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package,” Sir Frank concluded. “We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”