Williams had originally planned to launch the FW43B in augmented reality on an app, so that people could view how the car was put together on their devices, but sadly for the Grove-Based team the application was hacked prior to the launch so they were unable to do this. Despite this, fans were still able to get a glimpse of the car through various rendered images provided by the team.
The new FW43B’s livery has undergone a dramatic change compared to the previous years car, with the skin of the car now boasting a striking blue colour, with some streaks of the yellow made famous by Williams when the team was so dominant in the 90’s.
George Russell has enjoyed a good rest over the shortened winter break, after a very intense 2020. Russell had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, briefly before the country was plunged into another lockdown. Russell has been training hard with his trainer who he has been living with over the winter.
“The winter has been good, it has been great to have time off , last year was very intense with 17 races packed into 6 months. It was great to spend some time with friends and family before the second lockdown. Over the winter break I’ve been living at home with my trainer who has been keeping me in check.”
Russell has had the opportunity to drive the car on Williams’s designated filming day at Silverstone and the car felt good, although it was a wet and rainy day so these conditions aren’t representative of conditions on a race weekend.
“First impressions of the new car were good, it was a wet, cold rainy day in Silverstone which makes it a bit trickier and obviously we were only there for a promotional day, first impressions were good, there were no issues and the day went smoothly.”
On the simulator, the team have noticed some positive differences to the previous year’s car, but driving on the simulator and driving in real life is a completely different and no-one knows the pace of their car compared to the rest of the field until the first qualifying session of the year at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“We’ve definitely seen some differences on the simulator compared to the 2020, it’s looking promising, but simulation is one thing and hopefully we can bring this promise into the real world. Obviously we won’t know the pace of the car until the first qualifying session of the year at Bahrain.”
Russell, may not have a specific target of where he may want to finish, but the Briton always wants to come away from a Grand Prix Weekend feeling he has got as much out of the weekend as possible with the package available to him and the team.
“My personal targets are to continue to improve as a driver, putting down a figure like achieving a point or progessing to a Q3 session is unrealistic, I just need to keep improving and come away from every weekend thinking that myself and the team have got the most out of the package and that’s what’s satisfying, saying this we are still aiming for points finishes and hoping to progress to Q3.”
Russell is impressed with the new look of the FW43B, especially the dash of heritage on the car with the yellow streaks on the car. With this new look, Russell states that this is the beginning of a new chapter for the team based in Grove.
“I like the new look, it’s exciting, it’s got a hint of heritage in there with a dash of yellow which is cool. Altogether I think it’s exciting and I think that’s great for the team, new ownership, new look, new brand and it’s the start of a new beginning.I’d say what I like most about the new car, is it’s new identity, with a really striking blue and a touch of yellow, it altogether really looks nice but most importantly lets see how it performs on track.”
After 3 and a half months away from the car, Russell is looking forward to driving the car once more, and finding out how competitive the new package is.
“I’m really looking forward to driving again, it’s been a couple of months since we last drove in Abu Dhabi but really excited to drive, to find out how competitive the car is going to be and just get back racing.”
Russell is really looking forward to driving at the two new circuits which are on this years calendar – Imola and Portimão even though the British driver had a torrid time at the former.
“Really excited to be going back to some of the new circuits we visited last year, Portimao was a great experience, Imola as well, even though I didn’t fare as well there, Portimao is an amazing track with great racing, that will be fun and awesome and they’ll be two to look forward to in the season.”
Fans of Williams and Russell do not have to wait long before the British driver is once again out on track, with the pre-season tests at the Bahrain International Circuit commencing on the 12 March.