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.
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.
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.
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