After a thrilling week of car launches – including Mercedes’ and Alpine’s on Tuesday and Uralkali Haas’ livery revelation, today it was Williams’ turn.
The covers of the new FW43B came off early this Friday afternoon, at 14 GMT.
Introducing the FW43B 💙🤍💛 pic.twitter.com/4AF7Au4B5a— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 5, 2021
The new 2021 challenger will be called “FW43B” – and it will be a simple evolution of last year’s car.
Indeed, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIA decided to freeze technical developments and all teams will carry over much of last year’s car components – including the chassis.
Another peculiarity of the name stands in the prefix – As the team reveals, all Williams cars have carried the 'FW' prefix, after team founder Sir Frank Williams. The latter and his daughter Claire, who was Deputy Team Principal, left the team last year, after selling out to investment firm Dorilton Capital, thus concluding the Williams family's involvement in the team. However, the new owners are clearly keen to maintain the links to their past glory by keeping the car naming convention.
The car has a brand new livery featuring blue, white and yellow touches, which are inspired by the dominating cars of the 1980s and 90s.
"The team’s new look captures the spirit of the team’s past, the present transformation and its drive to future ambitions as it heads into its first full season of ownership under Dorilton Capital," the team said in a statement.
"Whilst evolutionary on the technical side due to the regulations, hence the designation FW43B as opposed to the FW44, the 2021 car will race with a dramatic new visual identity sporting a livery inspired by Williams’ all-conquering cars of the 1980s and 1990s, combining blues, white and yellow accents."
"We don't forget our history, our heritage, but we are moving on to a bright future." pic.twitter.com/3rzXdLiSir— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 5, 2021
Williams have finished last in the constructors' championship for the past three years – poles apart from their days of championship dominance in the 1980s and 1990s. Nevertheless, new owners have been busy investing in the team and bringing in new personnel – including former Williams driver and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button – as they endeavour to turn current performances around and begin climbing back up the grid.
Speaking for the first time as the new CEO of Williams Racing, Jost Capito said: “Williams Racing is a sporting icon, and a team that has forged a reputation of success through sheer determination and grit intertwined with innovation, passionate and skilful race-craft and an absolute desire to win.
"Highs and lows are typical in any long-established sporting brand’s journey and historic success can be a strong motivator, but it cannot be relied upon to define future success in the modern era of Formula One.
“Therefore, we have created a fresh new livery for the 2021 car; one that acknowledges our incredible past and retains the spirit, drive and motivation that remains at the core of Williams’ DNA yet looks to the future and signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front of the grid.
New CEO Capito and the entire Dorilton Capital team are working hard to get Williams back up the F1 grid.
"Whilst we are just starting out on this journey and there is still a lot of work to do, we are happy to see momentum in the right direction and look forward to continuing that progress on track this season”, Capito said.
The new car, which has already completed a shakedown run at Silverstone last week, will be raced again by British driver George Russell and Canadian Nicholas Latifi. They’ll be sided by Jack Aitken, who will be retained as reserve driver; while Jamie Chadwick, W series driver, will continue in her development role.