Getting nosey: Williams launch the new FW35 at Barcelona
The Williams is the last of the 2013 cars to be revealed
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 19/02/13 2:09pm
The wraps came off the new charger at Barcelona ahead of the first day of the second winter test with its distinctive and radically-different 'sawn-off nose' design concept immediately drawing gasps of surprise from the assembled press corps, before the car was swiftly covered back up and wheeled into the garage.
According to the team, over 80% of the FW35 is new compared to the race-winning FW34.
"Given the rule stability over the winter. I'm pleased with the gains that we've been able to make with this car. It's a better, more refined Formula 1 car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work they've done," said Technical Director Mike Coughlan.
"The Coanda effect is going to be a big thing for us. There's been no rule clarification concerning this area of the car, so we'll work closely with Renault to maximise the available gains. Use of the DRS is more restricted this year, so we'll take some resource away from that and focus on other areas."
Although the full 2013 car only made its track debut on Tuesday, Williams did trial some of its new features - principally exhaust configuration and wings - on last year's FW34 at the opening test in Jerez and declared themselves satisfied with the results.
While on a number of levels 2012 represented a big step forward for the former World Champions as they ended their eight-year victory drought and scored ten times as many points as they did in the previous season, an ultimate eighth-place finish in the Constructors' Championship was still below expectations.
But, sharing the optimism of his Technical Director, veteran team owner Sir Frank Williams declared confidence that the outfit were poised to move forward again in 2013.
"A group of talented people with good imagination and plenty of courage have been working together to build the Williams Renault FW35," he said.
"We will have to wait until Australia to truly see what we have, but we believe it is step forward from last year's car which was also a very competitive vehicle."
He added: "Williams has been at the top many times over the last 30 years. It's the nature of the sport to have ups and downs, but when we are down we always fight our way back. I'm hoping that with the current team we have in place, our new FW35, the combined talent of Pastor, Valtteri and Susie, and the continued support from our partners; we will be in a position to challenge the very best."
Pastor Maldonado, winner of last year's Spanish GP at the same circuit, turned the opening wheels in the FW35 on the opening morning of the second test, with new rookie team-mate Valtteri Bottas to get his first run in the car on Wednesday.