The Williams FW34 was shown in Jerez this morning, before Pastor Maldonado gave the car its first laps shortly afterwards.
The car is the first from the new technical team led by Mike Coughlan and Mark Gillan, and of course has been designed around a Renault rather than Cosworth engine.
Inevitably the car has a stepped nose, but the overall impression is one of a neat and tidy package, the car again featuring a small gearbox.
Chief operations engineer Gillan said: “We are really looking forward to this season and from a personal perspective I can’t wait to get the FW34 on to the race track. The factory has worked extremely hard over the winter to ensure that the car met its design, build and rig test targets and we start testing with the car prepared to a high standard.
“We’ve worked in close co-operation with all of our partners to achieve that, including Renault Sport F1. In the run-up to Australia, we will be working hard with our exciting new driver line-up to ensure that we maximise and unlock the full potential of the FW34. It is imperative that we demonstrate a continuous improvement in our performance and deliver results throughout the season.”
Sir Frank Williams said: “One could say that looking at the Williams F1 Team today we are off to a truly fresh start. We have a new car, new driver line up, new engine and new senior personnel. We also have a number of new partners who have joined the team in the past few months. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome them formally and sincerely wish that they have an enjoyable and, most importantly, a valuable experience with us. The team has had a good winter at the factory and we feel ready and strong for the fight.”
Meanwhile the drivers expressed their satisfaction with the package.
“I have faith in the FW34 and the Renault engine and so have high hopes for the races ahead,” said Maldonado. “It will be very important that we develop the car from the start of the season to the end. Now that I have a year’s experience, I can help in that area much more now.”
“This is my ever first pre-season testing programme since I started in Formula One two years ago,” said Bruno Senna. “I’m really motivated and looking forward to working hard and with everyone in the team. I hope we have a successful month testing and developing the car so we arrive in Melbourne as well prepared as possible.”