Both drivers will be competing for Williams in F1 for the first time – George Russell comes to the team as 2018 F2 Champion and Robert Kubica finds himself in a race seat having spent a season as Williams’ reserve driver in 2018.
The Williams FW42 follows Williams’ FW41 car that proved to be the team’s worst in its history, with a tenth place finish in the Formula 1 World Constructors Championship and a meagre seven points scored.
It will be the Williams Team’s first car since 2013 not to feature Martini title sponsorship, their deal with the drinks manufacturer coming to an end at the end of the 2018 F1 season.
Williams have yet to announce a title sponsor for the 2019 season and beyond, if indeed they have one.
Polish oil company PKN Orlen is sponsoring the Williams team for the 2019 season in a deal that accompanied Kubica being promoted to race driver and that will see their logo displayed in various locations around the FW42.
The car, as in the previous five seasons will be powered the the Mercedes 1.6 litre V6 Turbo-hybrid engine that has powered the AMG Mercedes F1 Team to ten F1 championships in 5 years.
The car will be designed around the new-for-2019 aerodynamic regulations designed to encourage more overtaking in the sport, and so will look distinctly different to its predecessor, the Williams FW41.
There is much speculation online as to what the Williams FW42 and its livery will look like, with many fans posting renderings of how they hope it might be decked out.
Williams rolled out their brand at an Orlen (Williams’ sponsor and Kubica backer) sponsorship event in Poland in January 2019 and the livery was much the same as it was at Grand Prix in 2018 where Martini wasn’t allowed to appear on the car because of local laws on alcohol advertising.
Now, clearly this is an FW40 and not an FW42, but its livery, Williams’ logo and the branding on its website and other marketing material suggests that we shouldn’t expect much of a departure form previous years, with the same flowing blue lines as when Martini was title sponsor, just without the red stripe along the centre.
Another area of speculation around the design of the FW42 in comparison to the disastrous FW41 is around the aggressive undercuts in the car’s sidepods.
Paddy Lowe said in Racecar Engineer “We have very much the largest undercuts in the pit lane, and it is clearly not a winning formula, certainly not in the way we have delivered it.” and so the expectation is that Williams will ditch that particular design feature altogether, or certainly moderate it.
It is widely expected among fans that the Williams FW42 will be a conservative car concept, without much risk taking in its design and execution, with a view to avoiding the catastrophic outcome of last year’s more experimental design. (although we know that was as a result of extraneous factors).
As a result, Williams might be expected to steady the ship with a solid car as a foundation the team can develop throughout the season, (although this hasn’t necessarily been Williams’ forte in recent years!)
Perhaps with the knowledge that Williams gained from the mistakes of last season, it will allow them to go back to the drawing board with the FW41, straighten out all its flaws, and make the FW42 the car that the FW41 should have been.
And who knows – the new aero regulations might allow a team or two to come up with something tricky to give them an advantage over its competitors, as the last shake-up of the regulations did in 2009 with Brawn and Williams identifying a loophole that spawned the double diffuser.
Only this time Williams need to be the team that use it to best effect, unlike 2009 when Brawn took both drivers’ and constructors’ crowns, with Williams coming home seventh.
Like Williams car launches in recent years digital renderings of the Williams FW42 were released online without any ceremony ahead of the actual car appearing at the first F1 pre-season test in Barcelona in mid-February 2019.
New Title Sponsor
It was announced in February at an event in Williams’ Grove HQ that the team had agreed a deal with British telecommunications company ROKiT to be their title sponsor in 2019, and that it’d be known as ROKiT Williams Racing.
At the same even, Williams’ bold new livery was unveiled, and in a break with the traditional Williams dark blue and white, they have instead gone for an electric blue/turquoise, white and black combo.
This colour scheme will be applied to the FW42 when ready, however, that’s unlikely to be before the first day of testing in Barcelona on 18th February 2019.
(The above isn’t actually the Williams FW42 but the FW41 with the 2019 colour scheme applied.)
Williams miss first day of pre-season testing
On Sunday 17th of February it was announced that Williams would miss the first day of the official F1 pre-season test in Barcelona, citing an ambitious winter development programme and that they’d prefer to miss day 1 and have a car that was ready to maximise the remaining seven days of testing.
*Even though it hasn’t turned a wheel yet, the FW42 already has one Pole – Robert Kubica! Hahaha. #jokes
Williams FW42 Specs
|Designed by:||Paddy Lowe|
|Official entrant:||Williams Racing|
|Drivers:||George Russell, Robert Kubica|
|Engine:||Mercedes Hybrid Turbo V6|
|Brakes:||AP 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers with carbon discs and pads|
|Transmission:||Williams 8 speed semi-automatic|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW41|
Williams FW42 Results