Williams Martini Racing has just unveiled its F1 racer for the 2018 season, dubbed the Williams Mercedes FW41.
The FW41 is the first Williams conceived from the outset under the guidance of chief technical officer Paddy Lowe and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer, both of whom started with the team at the beginning of 2017.
Consequently, the FW41 represents a significant departure from its predecessor.
Like last year, Williams will continue to use Mercedes-sourced powertrains in its cars, yet they say that a significant amount of work has been done to reconfigure the packaging of the powertrain.
“The car has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance,” Paddy Lowe added.
The team went on to express its optimism for the 2018 season and its belief in drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.
The duo will make up the youngest driver line-up on the grid. Rookie Sirotkin has been at the center of much debate since his signing, after it emerged that he brings with him roughly $15 million in sponsorship money to the team.
“We’re an independent team and, yes, sponsorship is really important these days for every team out there, so clearly if a driver has some financial backing that’s an added bonus – but it’s not the foundation for a decision-making process at Williams,” Claire Williams said of the decision to replace Massa with Sirotkin.