Williams technical director Mike Coughlan says that the team is well on schedule with the FW35, which will be launched in Barcelona on February 19.
Coughlan stressed that the team opted for a late shakedown in order to gain two extra weeks of wind tunnel development. The old FW34 will run this week in Barcelona.
“As part of our preparations for the 2013 season, we took the decision to launch our FW35 in Barcelona for a number of reasons,” said Coughlan. “We have already spent a great deal of time rig testing key areas of the new car for reliability, including doing over 3000kms on the gearbox and rear suspension and 7000kms on our 2013 KERS, and we are happy with the results we have seen.
“Our cars also passed all mandatory crash tests for 2013 and so were fully FIA homologated earlier this year. Our focus for track testing is to work on developing our aerodynamic package with extra time and resource now being available in the wind tunnel for a further upgraded race package ahead of the Australian GP.”
Meanwhile the team has promoted Pastor Maldonado’s former engineer Xevi Pujolar to the new role of chief race engineer. The team says he will oversee “all aspects of race car performance within trackside operations,” and thus in effect replaces the departed Mark Gillan.