Williams unveils new FW38 Formula 1 car for 2016

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Williams has become the first team to fully launch its Formula 1 car for the 2016 season by releasing the first images of its FW38 model.

The livery of the new car is very similar to that of its predecessor, mixing a simple white design with the iconic Martini stripes running from the rear wing to the nosecone.

Williams has finished third in the constructors’ championship for the past two years, and is looking to build on this success with the new car.

“Williams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the championship in the past two seasons,” team owner Sir Frank Williams said.

“This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us. Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough. ”

Drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas have been retained for the new season, and although Williams has complete faith in the duo, he is waiting to reserve judgement on the new car until the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona next week.

“We have a very stable team going into 2016, with Felipe and Valtteri teaming up for a third successive season. They work well together and both have the ideal blend of speed and consistency,” Williams said.

“Our technical team has also remained very consistent which will be to our advantage and we have some of the best engineering minds on the grid at our disposal.

“We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package and to refine the car ahead of the first race. We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds explained how the relatively stable technical regulations for the new season prompted the team to concentrate on retaining the best qualities of the 2015 car, the FW37, while also developing the required areas such as low speed performance.

“The FW37 was a pretty effective car and so we concentrated on understanding the areas where we could improve it without losing the attributes which made it effective,” Symonds said.

“It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn’t match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation.

“On top of this we looked at the normal physical obstacles to development that one always meets during the life of a car and tried to push those barriers back.

“We have very few changes to the technical regulations. As always we are trying to improve safety and so the cockpit sides adjacent to the driver’s head are not only higher but they are also significantly stronger.

“Something the spectators may notice more is that the engines will sound a bit sharper. Over the winter we can expect more power from improved combustion and this will in itself produce a bit more noise but perhaps more significantly the turbo wastegate is no longer plumbed into the main exhaust.

“This should not only produce an engine note that is around 12% louder than before but may also from time to time trigger some of the dramatic sounds we all associate with high performance turbo charged engines.”

The Williams FW38 will hit the track for the first time in Barcelona on Monday at the start of pre-season testing.