Williams reveal 2016 car, the FW38
Surprise launch of FW38 online as Williams target wins in 2016
By James Galloway and William Esler
Last Updated: 19/02/16 12:06pm
Williams have become the first F1 team to launch their full 2016 car ahead of the start of pre-season testing on Monday.
Hours before Ferrari's online launch on Friday, Williams jumped their Italian rivals by unexpectedly releasing the first images of the new FW38 on social media.
Decked out in the same Martini-themed livery first seen in 2014, Williams are aiming to take another step forward in the new season after re-establishing themselves as podium contenders with consecutive third-place finishes in the Constructors' Championship.
However, team owner Frank Williams acknowledges simply staying in the top three will be a "challenge" in 2016, with improvement expected from rivals who underperformed last season.
"Williams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the Championship in the past two seasons," said Williams. "This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us.
"Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough."
Williams field an unchanged driver line-up of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas in 2016 with the pair having proved well-matched over the previous two seasons. The car will again be powered by Mercedes engines.
The Grove team finished on the podium four times last year and say they have focused on improving the FW37's weaker areas.
"2016 promises to be a very competitive year in Formula 1 and there will be a number of strong teams who have us in their sights," said deputy team principal Claire Williams.
"We are confident that we have made a step forward over the winter and that the FW38 will build on the strengths of the FW37 and address some of its weaknesses. We started design work on the car earlier than normal and hopefully this extra development time will stand us in good stead."
In keeping with most teams heading into testing, Williams stressed that the car revealed on Friday is "by no means the final product" with a first update package already in development for the first race in Australia on March 20.
"It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn't match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation," said technical chief Pat Symonds.
Who's who at Williams in 2016
|Team principal||Sir Frank Williams|
|Deputy team principal||Claire Williams|
|Chief technical officer||Pat Symonds|
|Head of performance engineering||Rob Smedley|
|Head of aerodynamics||Jason Somerville|
|Chief designer||Ed Wood|
|Senior performance engineering||Andrew Murdoch|
|Sporting manager||Steve Nielsen|
|Race drivers||Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas|
Although the last two years have witnessed an overdue rensissance for the nine-time constructors' champions, former driver Pastor Maldonado's victory at the 2012 Spanish GP remains Williams' sole triumph in the last 12 years.
Williams' best result of 2015 was third place at the Canadian, Austrian, Italian and Mexican GPs.
"As a team we need to be able to win races, which is what we are always trying to do," said Bottas, who enters his fourth season at the team.
"I'm sure we have made improvements everywhere as a team, so we're definitely looking to fight for better results this year."
The first Barcelona test starts on Monday February 22 and the Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk on all four days of both Barcelona tests while Sky Sports News HQ will also deliver live updates from trackside.
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