Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll will pilot the FW40 through 2017 as the team celebrates 40 years of racing in F1.
Massa returns despite originally planning to retire from F1 at the end of last year, with his comeback being agreed following Valtteri Bottas’ move to Mercedes.
Stroll arrives in F1 as one of its youngest ever drivers, having won the FIA European Formula 3 title last season with Prema Powerteam.
Williams enters 2017 looking to bounce back from a disappointing campaign that saw it fall from third to fifth in the constructors’ championship, dropping behind Red Bull and Force India in the pecking order.
The FW40 follows the example set by the other teams with their 2017-spec cars, falling in line with the radical new technical regulations that have resulted in an aggressive look from teams.
The FW40 retains its thumb nose and also sports a large ‘shark fin’ engine cover that has also been implemented by a number of other teams.
Williams’ new car will hit the track for the first time in Barcelona on Monday with the start of pre-season testing.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto