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JANUARY 22, 2008

More new cars in Spain

The Williams and Renault teams have debuted their new cars in Valencia in Spain. The Renault was launched without any ceremony as there will be an official launch in Paris while Williams says it is not planning big events and simply wants to get on with the testing. The FW30 is a development of the same concept that the team has been following in recent times.

  "With four years of regulation stability, we have a good basis to be progressive about the development of this season's car," said Technical Director Sam Michael. "With a good reliability record last year, we have been able to build on this quality while also turning some of our attention to clear performance objectives."

The car retains the general structural and layout philosophy of its forebear, featuring a zero keel and dual pillar rear wing, with notable visual changes including a three plane front wing, increased sidepod top cooling louvres in view of the altered orientation of the water radiators, the sidepod and side impact sails and the increased cockpit sides for compliance with the new driver safety requirements.

"Our focus has been on performance as well as refining our packaging and weight distribution," said Michael. "We are designing a tidier car with a higher standard of build quality. The FW30 should represent a good step forward when all of the many small areas of attention and improvement are brought together in the overall package."

The team has yet to reveal its 2008 livery with the next few tests featuring a series of different paint jobs which recognise the 30 years that the team has been in F1.

Every name of the current 519-member Williams workforce will be carried on the FW30-01 this week, and the company also thanks the 85 brands whose sponsorship identities have graced Williams race car liveries since January 15, 1978, when the Williams FW06 took to the track for the Argentine Grand Prix in the hands of Alan Jones. These sponsorship revenues have supported Williams' purity of purpose as an independent racing organisation and the company is indebted to these commercial partners, past and present. The livery also reflects the team's wish to thank the public at large for three decades of support and goodwill which has seen Williams develop a pre-eminent international sporting reputation. The team's racing colours will not be unveiled until the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

The new Renault is apppreciably different to the 2007 car, which is not a surprise given the troubles that the team encountered last season. The front end aerodynamics is substantially different to the old car. The team has switched to the fashionable Zero Keel arrangement, The aerodynamic work on the sidepods is also very different. The engine cover is lower than previously and rather slimmer than before. Further details have yet to be revealed but we expect that there will have been a change in the wheelbase and the weight distribution as thse were areas which may have caused some of the problems in 2007 making a car that did not give the drivers confidence as they felt that the handling was inconsistent.