The Williams Mercedes FW40 was revealed online today ahead of pre-season testing in Barcelona, marking the 40th year for Williams in Formula One. The car is set to debut on track on Monday in the hands of Felipe Massa.
The new regulations could shake up the grid as everyone tries to find the best solution to the new regulations. This season, we will see the return of wider tyres, as well as revamped aerodynamics and a more physically demanding experience for the drivers.
This season we will see wider bodywork, wider front and rear wings, and fatter tyres. As a result of this, there will be a significant increase in downforce and mechanical grip with the 2017 cars really able to attack the corners, significantly faster than they have done in recent years. That, in turn, means braking distances will be reduced and G-loading will increase.
Not revealing much (yet)
Technically however, the car shows extremely little to be surprised about, and is underwhelming compared to other 2017 contenders that have already been revealed. It is of course possible that the team is hiding its developments until the very last moment and instead opted to release images without any interesting parts.
The freed up barge board area for instance has not been exploited at all, while front and rear wings also look like adaptions of the 2016 wings to comply with 2017 regulations, without much further development. It is as such expected we'll see a vastly different Williams out on track next Monday, after the team completes initial system checks - something other teams are already very busy with.
What is visibly now however is an S-duct, very similar to Mercedes' design of 2016. The team have also added a large shark fin on the car, something that is also hardly surprising, given that nearly every launched car features one.