By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Williams has surprised the F1 community by becoming the first team to reveal, albeit in the form of a rendering, their 2017 car.
Dubbed the FW40 to celebrate the team’s 40th anniversary in the sport, the new car gives us our first glimpse at the effects of the 2017 rule changes. Most notable are the swept back front wing, possible s duct in the nose, larger bargeboards, and reshaped sidepods. It features a larger air intake, complete with a mini shark fin, a vastly different rear wing, and the massive Pirelli slicks.
It is far from a major revision of last year’s FW38. Many teams were caught off guard by the last major shake up of the rules in 2009, see Ferrari for a perfect example, and are keen not to make the same mistake twice. The FW40 is a completely different animal and it appears every surface has been reshaped and honed.
The whole car has a much more aggressive air about it than the 2016 machines. Though Williams was careful not to give away too many details, like a true representation of its front wing, the somewhat darkened render does give a good visual representation of what most of the cars on the grid will look like. As with all seasons of massive rule changes, the basic shapes of the cars may be somewhat set, but the details, especially the wings will sprout a hundred variations just between now and the opening race in Australia.
We will have a much clearer, and more exciting picture next week when the cars are formally unveiled prior to the first pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on February 27th. That said, Williams is to be commended for giving the fans a sneak peak and ramping up the excitement for the season to come.