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Launches 2009: Williams Showcase The FW31

Launches 2009: Williams Showcase The FW31

On a gloomy morning in Portugal, Williams rolled their 2009 challenger out of a garage for the world’s media to see. The FW31 has been painted in an interim livery, similar to what the Oxfordshire-based team did last year. The car, complete with new front and rear wings, displays a wide and relatively low nose as well as beautifully sculptured sidepods. Test driver Nico Hulkenberg was on call and completed a few installation laps on the wet circuit.

Williams haven’t won a championship in many years, the last drivers title claimed by the private team being from Jacques Villeneuve in 1997. Since then, the once successful team has slowly slid down the grid as Frank Williams suffered problems with engines and finances. However, still managing to keep the outfit going, Williams and other co-owner Patrick Head will be hoping the new regulations will see them progress up the field as others face troubles of their own.

The team have invested in the future of Formula One by becoming part owners of a hybrid technology company, Automotive Hybrid Technology, which has since been renamed to incorporate Williams’s name and a move to the Grove factory has allowed the development of the only in-house KERS system to be built. With this advantage over the troubled Ferrari/Magneti-Marelli system (who also supply Scuderia Toro Rosso), it could be that Williams finally start to make inroads into the gap that separates them from the top of the grid.

Photos © WilliamsF1/LAT Photographic.

Oliver White

6 comments

  • […] Williams weren’t the only team showing off a new car this morning as Renault too took the wraps of their 2009 challenger. The Anglo-French team had both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr. available to do the honours, and as the R29 was unveiled, a new livery could since dressing the 2009 car. Piquet Jr. took the machine out a for a few installation laps in the morning, but most of the talk centred around the team’s use of a shark fin engine cover. […]

  • […] Williams weren’t the only team showing off a new car this morning as Renault too took the wraps of their 2009 challenger. The Anglo-French team had both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr. available to do the honours, and as the R29 was unveiled, a new livery could since dressing the 2009 car. Piquet Jr. took the machine out a for a few installation laps in the morning, but most of the talk centred around the team’s use of a shark fin engine cover. […]

  • I like it. I have found on the other cars the front wing looks disproportionately large, but in the black it “slims” it and makes it look more appropriately sized.

    Greg

  • I hate to say it, but the new look is kinda… KINDA… growing on me. lol Do you think we like the new Williams because the darker paint scheme is hiding the ugly proportions? 😛

  • Do you think we like the new Williams because the darker paint scheme is hiding the ugly proportions?

    Not sure. But I know where you’re coming from. When Williams ran the interim car up and down a runway before Christmas, I suggested that it didn’t look so bad because of the darker livery, especially when compared to BMW’s offering (at the time) which is predominantly white.

    I hate to say it, but the new look is kinda… KINDA… growing on me.

    Different things on different cars look okay, I think. The nose on the Ferraris and McLarens look okay, but Renault’s is hideous. The sidepods on the Williams look gorgeous, but the Toyota and Renault look meh!

  • Ya know, I believe Williams ran a similar livery last year, and I will ask the same question now as I did then…

    Why not just go with it?

    I know some of you may find it plain and unattractive, but it is WAY better than the McDonal..er…ING Renault contraption a bit further down the pitlane.

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