Williams’ 2017 Formula 1 car to be called FW40

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Williams has announced that it will celebrate its 40th anniversary in Formula 1 by calling its 2017 car the FW40.

Williams made its debut at the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, with Patrick Neve piloting a Ford-powered March 761 as Frank Williams took his eponymous team onto the grid.

40 years later, Williams has 114 wins, 128 pole positions, 133 fastest laps, nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ titles to its name, marking the team as one of the most successful in the history of F1.

Williams has named its cars sequentially throughout its time in F1, with the 2016 car driven by Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas named the FW38.

However, for 2017, Williams will skip over FW39 and jump to FW40 to mark 40 years in F1, as confirmed by the team earlier this week.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved during our long and illustrious history,” Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said.

“We have experienced the most euphoric highs – reaching the pinnacle of the sport nine times as a constructor and created seven champion drivers; Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. We have also experienced the lows; the heartache that the sport can cause and victories that have agonizingly slipped away.

“So much has changed in Formula 1 in the last 40 years but one thing remains the same, our passion for motorsport.

“We want to celebrate our passion, our achievements and our heritage with everyone who has made this journey possible: our fans, partners, media colleagues and the many friends we have made over the last four decades.

“Racing, it’s in our blood, it’s our DNA and has been since 1977. We are proud of that and that will never change.”

The FW40 will be driven by Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll in 2017, the latter making his debut in F1 after winning the FIA F3 title this year.