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New Williams breaks cover as testing resumes in Barcelona
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Feb 2013   |  9:15 am GMT  |  84 comments

The new Williams FW35 was revealed today, the last of the 2013 cars to break cover. The team opted to test at Jerez with the 2012 model to give more time for development of the FW35 and to get a baseline understanding on the new Pirelli tyres, using a car they know and understand.

It’s not ideal to lose a four day test session with the new car, when there are only eight more days testing before the first Grand Prix in Melbourne, but Williams has gone this route – the only team to do so – and will hope for a reliable run through the two final tests, with its drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas.

It should allow them to put up around 3,500 kilometres on the car before the opening race.

An evolution of the 2012 car, which won the Spanish Grand Prix, the FW35 has a new gearbox, new rear suspension, new radiators and new floor, exhaust layout and nose.

Continuity is always important in F1, but Williams as a team has undergone significant changes since the end of last season, with the loss of two management figures; Mark Gillan on the race operations side, with most of his responsibilities passing to Xavi Pujolar, while Toto Wolff’s departure to Mercedes has left a hole on the team management side, which Williams will urgently need to fill.

The Williams was revealed with a new sponsor in Experian, another new brand to enter F1.

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If points were awarded based-on presentation, this car would be dead-last.

Bland livery. Bland overalls. They look like they are backmarkers.

If you were CEO of a potential sponsor or business-partner, would you be inspired by it and want to throw great wads of your Company’s cash at it ?

I really do hope that they can get some regular points and semi-regular podiums this year and turn things around.


Brawn 2009?

Livery don’t give you performance, the people inside the team do.


True, but they need the cash to do it.

Brawn started 2009 way ahead, but trailed off toward the end as they couldn’t afford regular updates.

Williams really does need to have a good year.

Frank isn’t young anymore, there’s no-one to take over anymore, and if they don’t get some decent support soon it’s possible we may see them disappear from the grid altogether – and for a team with their history that would be an absolute shame.

Fingers crossed for them.



But if they want to attract somesort of BIGname sponsor to enable them to spend the money to buy the right people, then the car needs to at least look like it’s a front-runner.

And they really should stop with the pseudo-rothmans-era livery : those days are long gone, time to move on methinks.


First car this season I’ve been wowed by …. Stunning


It sounds good, but all this talk of a compact rear end and lowered gear box has me worried.

It sounds a hell of a lot like the talk that was making the rounds before the 2011 season – the other engineers were all taking a peek and generally being jealous, but in the end it was Williams worst season ever.

Here’s hoping 2013 is not a repeat.


The lack of sponsorships is troubling. I also saw the Senna S was back on the car, which was odd since they said over the summer it was to be removed.

Any idea on why that is back james?


Has Williams finally given up on getting money from Qatar and started focusing elsewhere?

Honeywell must be a target if they are courting F1.


Well there is bit of a set back. FIA told Williams their exauts are illegal. So they must change that before the race in Australia. Caterham was told the same thing.


Hi James,

Can you give a bit more insight on the FW35’s exhaust? At first glance, it looked like it would go against the rules. I also just read somewhere there it was deemed illegal by the FIA however, William’s is arguing that it is actually legal (something about it being 2 part rather than one). Thanks James.


Shocher! FIA has declared the Williams exhaust illegal. Thats got to be a first day record of sorts.


Exhaust declared illegal! That’s BS. All teams clear designs with the FIA before going to manufacture. Somebody from a rival team made a big stink. Williams deserve a clarification, their exhaust is two piece and is legal.


Not sure about that.

FIA declare whether the car can pass the crash test or not, but not anything else in terms of design.

Though for goodness sake I do hope this isn’t a start to another fight about legality stuff. Having been on a downhill for God know how many years I’m just too glad that they have Mark Coughlan onboard to get them back up to where they should be. I just want the teams to get on with the racing!


Yep, them and Caterham both. Record or not, it’s got to be problematic.


Will there be an analysis of this car? They are using different wheel nuts front and rear and the front rims look very like the ferrari rims from a few years ago that I think were questioned, with the inner ring? It is a very clean looking car at the front. Would love to know what you think.


Yes, Mark Gillan will be writing it…


This is a bit off topic but, the turbo cars in the 80s didn’t have an air intake above the driver’s head, will they in 2014? I think they look better with it.


The first thing that struck me was its Ferarri looks.

It looks like they got the Ferarri front end attached Sauber sidepods.

Williams have followed Sauber down the overcut sidepod approach, while all other teams have gone for an undercut. It should be interesting to see how fast they both go compared to the field and where they where last season.


Impressive looking car- if that counts for anything. Maybe a hint of Ferrari in the nose uprights. But no car on the grid has a front wing that site directly under the nose- doesn’t extend forward at all .. Maybe this is one way they can abound Pastor clipping people all the time whilst still ramming air more quickly to the rear floor !!

Im expecting big things from Bottas – I hope to see 2 flying Finns at the pointy end.


The nose is very short indeed.


Front suspension arms look a treat also with flat bits for aero effect


Hope Bottas keeps the fin flag high …the finns who happened to turn up in F1 in general have been good … Rosberg, Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Salo, Kovalinen. did i miss out any one ..



To be honest, any driver that get s to F1 is good. Its exceptionally rare that you get a truly terrible driver in there. Inoue would probably take that crown.


Another fairly high profile move is one of the Chief Race Mechanics, Tom McCullough who is going to Sauber.. I think there will be a bit of a gap to fill and I don’t think it’s going to go well for them this year.


Don’t suppose we’ll be getting Mark Gillan’s technical insight for this one then?


James how is losing toto wolff that big a loss to Williams ?


Nowhere near as much as Adam Parr


I too thought that the front nose section looked a lot like the ferrari with the side view.

At the risk of sounding racist, I am most excited to see the new Finn on the block. I cant recall a Finn that disappointed in this sport, and he might be the next big thing. His performances in other formula’s have been quite impressive.

My only worry for him is that he has spent all of last year without any competitive racing.


Well Kovalainen, Salo was pretty average apart from a glorious day at the German GP in 1999, where he gave up the lead for Irvine. (What is about Germany and team orders!)

But one name that really did disappoint was JJLehto


There’s a big difference between being racist and being patriotic.

If the guy’s from the same county as you then be proud and cheer him on!


I can, Mika Salo and the recently fired Kovalainen, I’ll never forget the day at Monza 2008 when he was getting dropped lap after lap by a teenager Sebastian Vettel in the Torro Rosso,that in my books is a big dissapointment.


Everyone was getting dropped by Vettel that day – that’s a big, big reason why he ended up at RBR.


I guess you mean chauvinist? 😛


Heikki was a bit of a let down, although he had to follow in the footsteps of Mika and Kimi…


Talk about lack of sponsorship….


The lack of other sponsors might have something to do with the fact their main sponsor is a country and perhaps the agreement sets out certain restrictions on advertising space on the car.


Doesn’t look great does it – but Randstad have been in there a long time (since 2006 I think) so they must see some value


My first thoughts exactly.

Those big numbers on the side pods look awful and they aren’t fooling anyone. Why do Williams have such a struggle attracting sponsorship compared to most of the other midfield teams? For a team that was hugely successful not that long ago you would think they were backmarkers from looking at the car.


I like Williams and hope they do well this year, but the fact is that they were hugely successful almost twenty years ago and backmarkers not so long ago.

Naturally the sponsors are going to be a little shy.

What worries me is when a global brand like Experian join and there’s plenty of space on the car…and they end up with a tiny little logo on the side of the nose – to me that doesn’t shout confidence.

On the bright side, with the big number on the side at least it won’t be like Mercedes 🙂


That was my point.


The size of the sticker is directly (and I suspect linearly) related to the size of the sponsorship; I would guess Experian are not paying much.


Wow, I just noticed the overalls…. even worse.


I was so happy seeing them moving in the right direction last year.

I would guess that Williams is everybody’s 2nd favourite if not the first?

I am a lifelong Ferrari fan, but always maintained a soft spot for Williams.

I really hope they have built upon their success last year.



I’d still prefer a better livery on the Williams though.


They’re one of the old school. Best of luck to them.


+1. I also have a soft spot for Williams.

I think though it might be a sift spot for Frank for me. He seems like a very hardworking, classy, reasonably up front and honest person. He certainly stands (no pun intended) out in the crowd against all the other ruthless and/or useless team owners / presidents etc in the F1 circus.


Not everybody is Ferrari or Williams fans. How on earth did you come to the conclusion that Williams might be everyone’s 2nd favourite if not the first? Ridiculous


I’m am completely aware not everyone is a Ferrari fan. That wasn’t my point!

Regarding Williams, many people have huge respect for that team because it was always a race team first, drivers were incidental.


“Regarding Williams, many people have huge respect for that team because it was always a race team first, drivers were incidental.”

True, I would say they are well-liked and like you and Scuderia McLaren declares below, I also have a soft spot for the team, especially for Frank. That does’nt mean they’re my 2nd fav team, I just think you made a pretty strong statement that I felt was’nt necessarily true…


Is the Williams nose and Ferrari nose really lower than what was allowed in 2011? I understand the concept of the stepped noses, but it seems Williams and Ferrari have just gone back to very high noses. I cant see where a vanity plate could be installed on them?? Perhaps its just a very good illusion??


I had the same thought, but if you squint you can just see the line where the step is.


I agree. especially with this Williams. I can’t see the drop off of the nose towards the front. looks very flat on top.


Got a feeling that Bottas is going to dust Chavez’s boy. Really do. I think Maldonados reputation for speed was inflated by Bruno’s poor overall one lap pace. I think VB, with his Friday driving exp is going to surprise and is going to be heavily sought after around mid year. Toto Wolff should make a pretty penny from this lad, after he blesses the rain down in Africa.



Bottas will have FP1. So he can do better than Bruno did last year, even if I doubt he will do as well as Bruno would do in a second season with Williams.

Also Maldonado will have another racing engineer this year and tyres with a larger performance window, even if I think none of these things will have an impact on his performance. With 2012 tyres Maldonado was fast like Hamilton, even beating Raikkonen at Spa or Vettel at Singapura with a Williams that was not as strong as many others in qualifying, due to their poor DRS.


Bottas seems like another Hamilton. Naturally gifted, uncannily fast.

The lad and Williams will provide good entertainment this year, I doubt Maldonado will be able to take the pressure.


Maybe he will, but lest not forget that Maldonado has not only been significantly faster than Senna, he also had the better of Barrichello in his rookie. I am not a fan, but he has shown some really good one lap pace.

Curious about Bottas: I have heard so many great things about him, let‘s see how he will go in races. It reminds me a bit of Nico Hülkenberg a couple of years ago, who also had a huge reputation when he got in F1. He has come good though, so we will see…


In Brunos defence his lack of one lap pace was because Valtteri Bottas spent last season driving in most of the Friday practice sessions asa result of which bruno seldom got enough practice on the circuit and hence was slower in qualifying.

I know F1 is a hard business but i think they owed it to the Senna family to give Bruno a fair chance.

Even though Williams was never oficially blamed for Sennas death a lot of people still think the badly reengineered steering column was to blame.:-)


I think it was some 70% tyres (same problem Button had in the first half of 2012) and some 30% lack of FP1. So he could be far better in qualifying with 2013 tyres (with a wider performance range) and the same amount of practice as others.

Also I still don’t know why Bottas is so highly rated. He may be really good but judging by what he did in junior series I think Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Grosjean have done much more than him.


Man, For some reason, the back of this car looks good. Hopefully its fast and problem free!

I think of the rookies, Bottas is the most promising for the future too, so should be a strong mid field team…


The reason is Williams low line gear box, gives them more room at the rear of the car than other teams, just hope they can exploit this, great looking car though.


Thanks Martin. Is this also true of the Sauber?


I think Williams are the only team who have developed a low line gear box, Sauber use Ferrari engines but I’m not sure if they also use Ferrari gearbox, anyone else know ?


It’s a shame they didn’t put the yellow ribbon surrounding Renault, on the engine cover..

That would have been great!


Great freebie for Rothmans you mean?


By the way. James is the BBC still on strike? I wanted to check for updates on their website. And they are not following the action in Barcelona. I thought the strike was just one day. So I´m stuck with the Sky website for info right now.


There was a tweet on the BBC F1 web page earlier to the effect that they’re not covering this test live “the same as last time”, but that they will have articles as and when.


Last time I looked, a few weeks ago admittedly, the BBC were only covering the 1st and 3rd tests live


Oh!!!So they don´t cover the 2nd test. If the BBC said something about a few weeks ago I completly missed that.Sorry,my mistake


Hope James don’t mind…follow here


A Twitter from Andrew Benson mentions that they never cover the middle test live & link to the autosport website live feed.


A Tweet…sorry! 🙂


He cant reply, he’s on strike 🙂

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