JANUARY 25, 1999

The Williams FW21

TODAY in Barcelona, Williams Grand Prix Engineering will unveil its new car - the FW21 - and the team hopes that it will give Alex Zanardi and Ralf Schumacher the opportunity to take on McLaren and Ferrari in 1999 after a disappointing 1998 season.

The car has been designed by the team's chief designer Gavin Fisher and aerodynamicist Geoff Willis, with technical director Patrick Head overseeing the entire project as always. Head says that the new car is going to be different. "There is no such thing these days in F1 as anything really radical," he said, "but the new car represents a very significant departure from its predecessors in that we took a different approach in considering our aims and the ways of achieving them. The car may look pretty much like last year's but the steady development line that Williams has been following has changed. We felt it was time to be more radical and so we have looked at everything and the new car is the result of many micro-changes rather than a large macro-change. We have used a lot of new production processes because we were a bit behind on things like composite suspensions and gearboxes and so on."

The team knows that 1999 will be a struggle as the new Supertec engines are not expected to be very different to those used last year but hopes that there will be a chance to win races on occasion.