Williams Martini Racing first to unveil their 2016 challenger

by Paul Hensby

Williams Martini Racing has become the first team to launch their official 2016 car after unveiling the Mercedes-powered FW38.

After two consecutive seasons of finishing third in the Constructors’ Championship, Williams are hoping to push on in 2016, and with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa behind the wheel once more, Sir Frank Williams, the Founder and Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team, is hoping for another strong 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 Sir Frank 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.

“We have a very stable team going into 2016, with Felipe and Valtteri teaming up for a third successive season. They work well together and both have the ideal blend of speed and consistency. Our technical team has also remained very consistent which will be to our advantage and we have some of the best engineering minds on the grid at our disposal.  

“We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package and to refine the car ahead of the first race. We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”

Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams says the FW38 has been designed to attempt to overcome the weaknesses of its predecessors, especially around the slower tracks such as Monaco and Singapore where the team have struggled in comparison to other tracks.

“2016 promises to be a very competitive year in Formula One and there will be a number of strong teams who have us in their sights,” said 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. The car we are launching today is by no means the final product. We are already planning updates for Melbourne and will be pushing for constant improvements over the course of the season.

“Williams enters 2016 in a strong place. We have a great team of people and over the past two years we have started to regain our competitive edge. Now we need to build on that and take this team back to where we all want it to be.”

The car will make its on track debut next Monday when pre-season testing gets underway at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Bottas getting the opportunity behind the wheel for the first two days.

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