Williams Racing has launched its latest car, the FW43, two days ahead of the first F1 pre-season test it famously missed last year.
The car, bedecked in a new red, blue and white livery was unveiled via the magic of digital rendering first thing in the morning, before the real thing hit the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona later in the day.
The car, at first glance, looks like a sharpened version of the FW42 that Williams used throughout 2019, with more aggressive packaging, developed aero detail and a reported weight saving of around 30kg.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any great shift in design philosophy from the FW42 that performed so poorly last season, and critics might still argue that its aero remains under developed in comparison to its competition.
Overall though, it’s clearly a step forward from the FW42, and with its (minty) fresh new livery is pleasing to the eye.
It looks fairly aligned with the cars we want it to compete with – Haas, Alfa and Alpha – although the top teams still seem to be a different generation of car to the FW43.
But we’ve seen the car, and it’s already enjoyed track time and so it already feels like ground has been gained from 2019.
We’ll find out on Wednesday whether all that translates into the ultimate gauge of a good car, ie, lap time.
12 months ago Williams were forced to cancel the car’s initial shakedown, before missing two full days of the four day test, it’s rumoured as a result of a mistake in production scheduling.
This set the tone for a miserable season where the team found itself completely unable to gain ground on its competition after starting the campaign significantly adrift, ending the year with a single point, the worst in its entire history.