Williams has become the second team to release images of its 2018 car, with the FW41 being launched during a team event in London.
Following the unveiling of the Haas on Wednesday, Williams held a season launch in the UK with deputy team principal Claire Williams, chief technical officer Paddy Lowe and drivers Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin and Robert Kubica. The new car was shown off via film, and appears to be a more radical departure from the 2017 car than Haas has opted for.
The FW41 is the first car under Lowe’s leadership since the chief technical officer joined from Mercedes last year, and features significantly updated sidepods and barge boards, while there is a T-wing at the base of the shortened engine cover.
Stroll and Sirotkin will make up the least experienced driver line-up on the grid in 2018, with Kubica supporting them as reserve and development driver. During the launch event, Kubica confirmed he will be behind the wheel during pre-season testing in Barcelona, as well as during three FP1 sessions this season.
Williams herself says she is keen to see the result of Lowe’s influence play out on track, including the way he has restructured the team to make it more efficient.
“I’ve obviously kept abreast of commercial and other TP operations and Paddy is Paddy – he’s been in charge of the engineering side of it,” Williams said. “So I totally trust in his work. I’m really excited to see it.
“There are obviously going to be some key differences – the Halo in particular is going to be one aesthetic that is totally new for people this year. I know that there are a lot of differing opinions about it but I think as time progresses we’ll probably forget all about the negativity around it. At the end of the day the foundation of it is safety and that’s hugely important for our drivers, to protect their safety in any which way we can.
“Looking ahead to the FW41, I think it’s going to be interesting but until we know where the rest of the competition is, we’re not going to know where we are. But I hope that we have made progress and it will drive us forward. Paddy has done a lot of work to reshape the infrastructure within our team, particularly around the design and aero teams, and to have that collaboration is so important. We hope it drives us forward.”