Williams launch new-look car after VR reveal hacked

Williams say the FW43B livery design has been inspired by title-winning cars of old and “signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front”; Car was due to be revealed via augmented reality but VR app was hacked before launch

Last Updated: 05/03/21 3:08pm

Williams have unveiled the car they hope will lift them further up the grid in 2021 as the iconic Formula 1 kick-start their new era with a fresh look.

The FW43B – retaining legendary team founder Frank Williams’ initials – was revealed via traditional digital images online despite an initial innovative plan to do so using augmented reality, which the team were forced to abandon after the VR app was hacked before the launch.

The car’s revamped white, blue and yellow livery has been inspired by Williams’ dominant cars from the 1980s and ’90s – with new CEO Jost Capito saying it “signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front”.

Williams will be looking to, at the very least, remove themselves from the bottom of F1’s pecking order in 2021, which is their first full season under new owners Dorilton Capital after the Williams family sold the team last September.

“Williams Racing is a sporting icon, and a team that has forged a reputation of success through sheer determination and grit intertwined with innovation, passionate and skilful race-craft and an absolute desire to win,” said Capito.

“Highs and lows are typical in any long-established sporting brand’s journey and historic success can be a strong motivator, but it cannot be relied upon to define future success in the modern era of Formula 1.

“Therefore, we have created a fresh new livery for the 2021 car; one that acknowledges our incredible past and retains the spirit, drive and motivation that remains at the core of Williams’ DNA yet looks to the future and signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front of the grid.

“Whilst we are just starting out on this journey and there is still a lot of work to do, we are happy to see momentum in the right direction and look forward to continuing that progress on track this season.”

What are Williams’ goals for 2021?

There are evidently lofty long-term ambitions for the Grove outfit who are F1’s second most successful constructor in terms of team titles – although this season retained drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will likely be tasked with lifting Williams back towards the midfield.

Williams, despite their Mercedes engines, have finished 10th and last in the standings in each of the past three seasons, failing to score a point at all last year.

The struggling team did, however, show glimpses of recovery form in 2020, particularly in qualifying – while they will be confident of beating Ferrari-powered rivals Alfa Romeo and Haas this season.

Williams, who have welcomed Jenson Button to the team as a senior advisor, are also boosted by having a potential superstar in the making in their ranks, with Russell looking to build on a brilliant 2020 this year.

Williams driver George Russell believes his team are moving in the right direction after unveiling their new FW43B car.
Williams driver George Russell believes his team are moving in the right direction after unveiling their new FW43B car.

The young British driver not only enhanced his reputation with qualifying heroics in the Williams, but also in a one-off GP appearance for Mercedes as he filled in for Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain, leading the race before tyre woes.

Russell is out of contract with Williams at the end of this season, with world champions Mercedes set to watch their junior closely.

“I think we’re very hopeful we can continue to go forwards,” Russell told Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater. “The car is definitely a step in the right direction… whether it’s enough, who knows.

“The team has done a great job, but until we drive on the Saturday evening in qualifying in Bahrain, I don’t think anyone’s going to know.”

F1 Testing live on Sky Sports F1

New-look cars. New driver and team combinations. And just three days of track testing to get up to speed before the new Formula 1 season begins.

There’s never been a pre-season testing schedule quite like this – and you can watch it all live on Sky Sports F1 from next Friday as Formula 1 2021 gets fully up and running with three days of action in Bahrain.

With coverage starting early morning on March 12 and running through the weekend, Sky F1 will be the place to be to watch the eight hours of live track action from each day – plus a nightly Round-up show and Ted’s Testing Notebook.

Sky F1’s Martin Brundle, David Croft, Ted Kravitz, Rachel Brookes and Karun Chandhok will be out in Bahrain to help tell the story of each day’s track running and all the big stories of pre-season.

Coverage on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday features:

  • Live coverage of morning & afternoon track sessions
  • Nightly wrap show rounding up the day’s key moments & interviews
  • Ted’s Testing Notebook

In addition to the Sky F1 channel, subscribers can also watch the live action on their mobile by logging in with their Sky iD on the Sky Sports App.

The Sky Sports website and app will be the place for the live digital blog with updates, timesheets and free-to-view video clips of key incidents and interviews.

You can also follow the latest updates via the Sky F1 social channels.

The new 23-race F1 season begins back in Bahrain on March 26-28, with every race live on Sky Sports F1 – the only place to see the whole season live.

Source : Sky Sports