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Breaking cover – Williams reveals preview shots of its FW40 2017 F1 car
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Williams 2017 F1 car FW40
Posted By: Editor   |  17 Feb 2017   |  11:20 am GMT  |  153 comments

Williams has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal images of its 2017 car.

The FW40, which is named in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the team entering F1 occurring this year, was unveiled in a YouTube video ten days ahead of the start of winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The 2017 F1 machines have been built alongside new aerodynamic regulations that were intended to make the cars look visually more aggressive and achieve faster laptimes.

The new Williams, which will be driven by Felipe Massa and rookie driver Lance Stroll, features the expected wider and lower rear wing, which has curved endplates in a similar approach to the wing Ferrari fitted to its test car when it trialled the 2017 Pirelli tyres last season.

The FW40 also has more tightly sculpted sidepods than its predecessor, the FW38, and the swept back, pointed front wing design that was also expected from the new regulations.

Williams has retained the tipped nose at the front of the car in a similar design to its 2015 and 2016 machines. The car also appears to have a bigger airbox above the cockpit.

Williams 2017 F1 car FW40

The next 2017 car to be revealed will be Sauber’s C36, which be launched online on 20 February. This will be followed by Renault’s RS17 on 21 February, Force India’s VJM10 a day later and Mercedes’ W08 on 23 February. McLaren and Ferrari will both unveil their new challengers on 24 February, with Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Haas F1 all launching on 26 February, one day before the first test.

Ex-Ferrari aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer joins Williams

Williams has also announced that is has hired former Ferrari chief aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer to head up its aerodynamics department.

De Beer, who will start working for Williams on 1 March 2017, has previously worked for Sauber and Renault and joined Ferrari in 2013. He left the Scuderia last summer after the departure of the team’s former technical director James Allison, who will become Mercedes’ technical boss later this season.

Felipe Massa

Claire Williams, the team’s deputy team principal, described de Beer as a “great asset” as she welcomed him to the team.

She said: “We’re delighted to have someone with Dirk’s vast experience joining us. Having spent several years as a head of aerodynamics in Formula 1, his knowledge and technical expertise will undoubtedly be a great asset to the team in our continued push to restore Williams to the front of the grid.”

After slipping back to fifth place in the 2016 constructors’ championship, Williams goes into 2017 following an off-season that featured a lot of staff reshuffling, particularly in its technical department.

Pat Symonds stepped down from the team at the end of last year and a number of senior technical staff in the aerodynamic and production departments have also left, but Mercedes’ former technical chief, Paddy Lowe, is expected to join the Grove-based team in a senior management role.

What do you make of the first images of the FW40? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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1

Wow just wow. This looks absolutely stunning. Not a straight line in sight. The aero looks really promising. I wander why they have released this early

2

Comment on new F1 cars……. all the hype , but are they looking that different.
Bit here and a bit there, but really!!!

3

This is clearly a good idea insofar as getting a official image of the new car out there first. It is not however the actual car.
The clip itself is too dark and dingy.
I’m dissapointed in Williams for this, the fans have been waiting with great excitement for new cars designed with new regs………it’s so drab.
A marketing backfire I’d suggest.
However they’ll hopefully learn from this and not present the actual car so poorly.

4

This is it? I thought the ugly noses were thing of a past. Pathetic. And it is outright cheating us fans, sorry consumers, using V8 engine noise for the background. The new Formula E car someone has shared is jaw-dropping and F1 is nowhere.

5
Stuart McLaughlan

Just looks like last year’s chassis placed on top of a new wider under tray.

A Williams FW11 (1987) now that looked aggressive and was aggressive, this thing doesn’t look much more aggressive than a Citroen 2CV!

6

Haven’t read all the comments, so maybe this has already been mentioned, but don’t like all the winglets, veins, and other “aero” stuff. Shark fin awful, and “new” front wing should be much simpler and susceptible to damage. Underwhelmed.

7

Don’t know who the target demographic is that’s going to be all that impressed but it ain’t me babe. Maybe they were trying to impress other f1 engineers, not the fans?

8

Looks sleek yet understated – exactly how a modern F1 car should look, imo. At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s still very clearly F1, and represents evolution not revolution. By the time we roll out in Melbourne, the era of “narrow F1 cars” will look so strange and dated.

9

The narrow cars have always looked strange and dated.

When I first saw them in testing in early 2009 I almost fell off my chair. Those cars were not fit for mass consumption from the get-go. We were told that we would get used to them eventually, but I never did. And I don’t think that most fans did, either.

10

I like the look! I would love to see the teams spend more time on the paint jobs. No aero advantage but just make the cars more visually appealing. Like the look though and the fact that Williams is attracting big engineering talent.

11

I do have a concern that these new regs are a retrograde step. The move away from massive downforce and cornering-on-rails of the exhaust blown diffuser brought about jittery cars, more driver input and better racing. Of course it was dominated by Mercedes but that should have evened out over time, and a move to more equitable funding.
I hope I’m wrong, but the reg change looks like a solution to the wrong problem. IF cars can’t close and overtake, and IF tyres don’t degrade to offer performance differential where is the variability and overtaking going to come from? Now the cornering speeds are going to be so high, can the circuits absorb the energy of an accident or a car leaving the track?

12

I didn’t realise the tray under the sidepods came so far out from underneath the chassis. Interesting to see the cornering affects of this especially on Silverstone’s sweeping complexes

13

From a side shot, it looks a longer car; but from the front, even with the side-by-side shot, I did not see any difference between the 2016 and 2017 chassis worth getting excited about. Perhaps I am too much of a layman.

14

The new regs did not introduce any mandatory changes to the chassis. The idea was to fix the bad proportions by increasing the track back to 2 metres, increase mechanical grip via fatter tyres, ditch the tall boxy rear wing, remove the boxiness of the front wing and make it look more dynamic by giving it a delta shape, and it increase downforce from the floor by increasing the size of the diffuser and the size of the floor.

If you look at the render you can see all of that, and in all honesty I don’t what people were expecting, especially given the fact that nobody wanted any radical changes to the cars as all the radical proposals were rejected by the fans.

15

What is the weight of the new F1 tire + rim ( front & back ) ? How ,the weight , is going to affect the pitstops ?

16

2kg heavier each corner

17

Not saying it to be that guy, but . . . looks fake. Seriously, it looks like the whole thing is rendered. Am I the only one? The surfaces don’t look right.

18

I have some guy named Morpheus on the phone, says he’s has some sort of pill for you?

19

Looks pretty regular, the nosecone looks like someone put a false nose on the ’16 car, and havent hidden the join very well,I do like the swept back look though. As for the sidepods, im sure the boffins know what their doing, but visually it lookslike someone sat on them before they had set properly. Maybe controversial, but I like the rear wing look.

20

The nose? I thought se got rid of that? I did’nt expect to see very much of a change but i sure thought there were no more noses.

Livery is nice but i allways hope that kind of reaction like “oh wow i did not expect that!”

21

Looking at the extra width of a proper 2017 car, that alleyway masquerading as a chicane at Baku is going to claim a few scalps!

22

Cashpoor; there is no “extra” width. The width has been returned to what it was before Moseley reduced the track to 1.8 and put grooved tyres on the car to slow them down for safety reasons.

23

Sorry luke C..wrong again. There is additional width ….cars are now 20cms wider than they were last year DUH

24

Er, that was 19 years ago, long before Bernie dreamed of a street race in Azerbaijan, and before any of the current drivers were in F1.

25

Cashpoor; 30- 19 years ago cars raced at at a Monaco that was even narrower than it is now, on the narrow streets of Dallas and Detroit, which were in places much narrower than Azerbaijan and Singapore.

And F1 didn’t have the likes of China, Bahrain and Texas, which are so wide in places that I’m surprised they don’t use those tracks as runways to land passenger jets.

26

That luke C is a specious argument. Pure maths will tell you that if the combination of two cars together measuring, almost half a metre wider, enter a fixed [narrow] width aperture that the room for error is reduced a great deal.

27

I know mate. I saw my first F1 race 52 years ago when the cars looked like current FF1600’s.

My original comment was aimed at circuits like Baku which, as you say, resembles the M25 in places, while that ridiculous kink round a building caught Lewis Hamilton out in qually last year.

29

Wow, they actually seemed to have solved the addition cockpit protection problem that F1 has been grappling with — without resorting to thongs or riot shields.

30

Thank you for that, Anonym.

THAT Formula-E design looks aggressive! I doubt any of the F1 cars for 2017 will be anywhere close, though hopefully more than the Williams.

31

F1 fans didn’t want F1 to go in that direction aesthetically. Concepts similar to this were shown for the future of F1 and the reception from fans was ice cold.

32

They just look like the interim cars that ran in testing last year in view of the 2017 regulations. I am disappointed.

33

One day we’ll get nice looking front wings again.

34

Callum; I think the front wings in the render do look very nice; although aesthetics always has been a very subjective thing, and always will be.

Proportions on the other hand, not so much. You can quite easily establish the most aesthetically pleasing proportions, and there are even mathematical formula that describe these. And there is no escaping the fact that the elements that make up these 2017 cars are infinitely more pleasing to the eye than anything we’ve had since 1997.

35

no wonder young Massa decided to give them another go

36

That is the ugliest goddam thing I have ever seen. Sad

37

Oh come on now, Scott. Let’s not go nuts here; there is absolutely no way that this is uglier than last year’s car.

What is it with the comments here? I’ve been to 4 different comment sections where this render was shown and the reception has been mostly positive.

Is jamesallenonf1.com the go-to website for anyone who wants to go nuts with the negativity now, or what?

38

@ Luke C perhaps the posters here are more discerning, not prepared to accept hazy scraps or maybe just too well versed to swallow the marketing hype prior to seeing the cars in the flesh? I don’t think that you have a mortgage on comment content as all they are are opinions,just like yours.

39

Kenneth; perhaps the posters here don’t know what they want. Concepts much more radical than what we’ve ended up with were proposed over a year ago.

The fans almost unanimously rejected those for being too radical, and now they are criticising the current cars for not being radical enough.

40

@ Luke C…. you’re dreaming again. Wild presumptions about what posters want to see and what they don’t are subjective. The ‘concepts’ were just that and extremely radical. There was no way that they were presented as viable alternatives. All posters are putting their personal likes and dislikes forward in a genuine show of interest.

41

Kenneth, the market research was done. The fans did not want anything that deviated too far from what F1 cars have looked like in the modern era. Obviously the opinions of fans are subjective, but the summary of what they want is not.

Perhaps the FIA should just stop asking fans what they want, given that people don’t know what they want.

Do you remember when Coca Cola asked people what they wanted, and people chose sweeter coke? Well, they released sweeter coke and nearly went bankrupt.

This is why market researchers no longer bother asking people what they want. It’s an expensive waste of time.

42

@ Luke c..are you saying that focus groups are redundant! I don’t know where you live but here i get pestered at least once every couple of week by market researchers by phone by doorknock and online. Even political parties are asking us what we want!!! Maybe if you reside on the scottish moors or in the backblocks of rural finalnd you might be right. Besides all that the FIA has never once given the fans what the fans wanted!!! Point me to where the fans wanted PU’s, where the fans wanted DRS etc etc etc and the FIA granted those wishes.

43

I think it looks better. A shame that they have kept the button mushroom 🍄 penis on the front though.

44

Look mod it looks lena dunham ugly to me plain and simple.And it does look alot worse than last years car and I am not going to apologise to you if my view differs from yours.

45

I agree LukeC, I often feel the same about the degree of negativity I see in the comments here. I’m not sure what people were expecting. Some dimensions and wing heights have changed, but the laws of aerodynamics have not, and neither have our highly mature and developed means of modelling and exploiting them. Yet several here seem to be suggesting we were hoodwinked.

I guess all they were asking for were sharks with frickin lasers on their heads.

46

“Some dimensions and wing heights have changed, but the laws of aerodynamics have not”

I’m sorry Andy, but that’s not true.

There won’t be any turbulent air this season and races will begin at 3 and end sometime before 1 o’clock.

47

Did Ridley Scott direct this vid – I found myself looking for Ripley/ Sigourney through the murky fog…

I am still laughing that some people really expected an “new aggressive look”. I don’t know how they create one, short of painting teeth on the nose cone or pics of Mike Tyson in the eighties. LOL. This was another Bernie marketing ploy!

Still the season gets closer and closer even if the racing doesn’t. If change is to come to F1, it will be brought on by the new regime (Liberty and a revised FOTA style group), and they haven’t had a chance as yet.

48

Struggling to get excited about those images. Looks like a slightly windswept 2016 car. Either we’ve been hoodwinked on the regs and the subsequent general car image change, or Williams have gone conservative bordering on dull.

49

That STUPID nose is slowly becoming the epitome of everything wrong with f1 car design

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