It was announced pre-season that Williams and Martini had signed a deal for the drinks manufacturer to become title sponsor, and the classic Martini livery was back in Formula 1 for the first time since the 1970s.
The FW36 was the first Williams Formula 1 car to be powered by a turbo engine since the Williams FW11 in 1987, and the first in Williams’ history to be powered by a Mercedes PU.
This Mercedes power unit quickly proved itself to be the class of the field, and in the FW36, Williams had built an extremely aerodynamically efficient car. The two combined to give the drivers an incredibly quick car, particularly at low downforce circuits.
Visually the FW36 was very striking. Along with its new Martini livery, it also featured an ‘anteater’ nose whereby the main bulk of the nosecone stopped short of the very front of the car, and to meet the FIA’s regulations on length and height of the car’s nose but to also allow as much air as possible to flow beneath it, the FW36 featured an unusual forward protrusion.
In its first test, the FW36 suffered from the same electrical issues that hampered many of the other teams. This was attributed to the new engine formula which dictated that the teams must use a 1.6 litre V6 turbo-hybrid engine – new for 2014.
The newly arrived Pat Symonds led the engineering department at Williams, but arrived after the majority of the FW36 had been completed and so was able to have limited input.
The main challenges posed by the new regulations were, along with a brand new, never used before, power unit, aerodynamic changes, a new gearbox and new cooling.
Additionally, the V6 power unit was heavier than the V8 used in 2013 and so major effort was required to bring it down below the mandated minimum weight of 691kg.
The Williams FW36 made its race debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2014, driven by Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa who joined from Ferrari to replace Pastor Maldonado.
A string of bad luck hampered their early-season efforts, but by mid-season everything came together resulting in a 1-2 in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.
9 podiums and 320 points scored took the Williams team to 3rd in the World Drivers Championship, ahead of Ferrari.
Williams FW36 Specs
|Designed by:||Pat Symonds|
|Official entrant:||Williams Martini Racing|
|Drivers:||Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas|
|Engine:||Mercedes 1.6 litre hybrid turbo V6|
|Brakes:||AP 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers with carbon discs and pads|
|Transmission:||Williams 8 forward and 1 reverse speed, seamless sequential shift semi-automatic gearbox, with gear selection electro-hydraulically actuated|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW35|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW37|
Williams FW36 Results