Formula One fans have been promised this year’s new technical regulations will bring about wider, more aggressive cars that generate more downforce and are four to five seconds quicker per lap. While the improvement in lap time is yet to be seen, it’s now clear F1’s rule-makers delivered on their other promises.
Williams Martini Racing on Friday became the first team to provide a peek at its 2017 challenger, revealing two photos of the FW40, which will be piloted by Felipe Massa and rookie Lance Stroll. Even though this is the team’s 39th car, it opted to skip the FW39 name to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
Although Manor F1 revealed pictures of the wind tunnel model of its car after the team closed its doors, the images Williams released provide the clearest idea so far of what the sport will look like in 2017.
Because the FW40 features the same two-tone livery as Williams’ last two racers, including the Martini stripes down the middle, it’s easier to see the changes in this year’s aerodynamic packages. Lots of new elements, such as the small winglets on the safety cell ahead of the mirrors, that will contribute to high levels of downforce, are clearly visible.
The head-on shot also highlights the lowered rear wing and angular front wing, which give the car that “race-y” look the teams were hoping for. Additionally, comparing the FW40 to Manor’s 60-percent scale model, it’s noteworthy how the 2017 regulations again will allow teams to adopt various nose cone designs.
Williams, like many teams, will officially launch its new car Feb. 25, ahead of the first preseason test.