Halo, is it me you’re looking for?
Actually there are two connections between the Halo and the Lionel Ritchie classic ‘Hello’. Firstly, their names are similar sounding, and secondly, when I look at a halo, part of me wishes I was blind like the lass in the video.
The Williams FW41 is the first Williams Grand Prix car to be raced using the controversial Halo device, intended to deflect and debris away from the driver’s helmet, reducing any risk of him being struck on the head.
Otherwise, visually, it’s similar in appearance to the FW40. The livery remains the same as the sponsorship with Martini continues.
One key difference is the use of aerodynamic devices to maximise the airflow around the car, which has made the car very aesthetically striking as the Williams team develop additional ways to optimise and manage airflow.
It is being driven by Lance Stroll in his second season with the Williams team, and Sergey Sirotkin in his debut year in Formula 1.
Making a return to Formula 1 is race-winner Robert Kubica who has assumed the role of test driver with the team, which involves him running in selected Friday practice sessions during the course of the 2018 season.
The Williams FW41 proved to be statistically the worst in the team’s illustrious history.
In addressing fundamental flaws in the car’s cooling – there from the first time it turned a wheel, the team had to interfere with the aerodynamics towards the front of the car, causing instability.
Additionally, there was a fault with the rolling road in Williams’ wind-tunnel, which gave the team incorrect data, and it was this information around which the car was designed and built.
With these two issues hard wired into the car it proved to be impossible for the team to fix. Once the realisation set in that this was the case, Williams were resigned to seeing out the season and plan for better in 2019.
Accountability for these catastrophic mistakes saw a number of high profile figures leave the team, resulting in a restructuring at Williams, causing short term upheaval, but with the aim of creating a more dynamic and agile operation long term.
Lance Stroll managed just six points in the entirety of 2018, whilst team-mate Sergey Sirotkin managed just a solitary point.
Williams finished bottom of the F1 World Constructors Championship, and Sirotkin bottom of the drivers’ table.
At the end of a feeble 2018, Lance Stroll jumped ship to Racing Point/Force India, newly acquired by his father Lawrence. Sergey Sirotkin’s backers SMP decided not to pursue an option for him to remain with Williams in 2019.
This allowed Mercedes protege and 2018 F2 Champion George Russell to join Williams to make his F1 debut in 2019 alongside Williams 2018 reserve driver Robert Kubica in his first season back following a near career ending accident in early 2011.
Williams FW41 Specs
|Designed by:||Paddy Lowe, Dirk de Beer|
|Official entrant:||Williams Martini Racing|
|Drivers:||Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin|
|Engine:||Mercedes 1.6 litre hybrid turbo V6|
|Brakes:||AP 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers. Carbon pads & discs|
|Transmission:||Williams 8 speed semi-automatic|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW40|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW42|
Williams FW41 Results