By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
Williams has revealed the first images of its 2016 design, the FW38. While it appears to be a clear evolution of its successful predecessor, major changes have taken place under the skin to help the team hold onto its new found place at the sharp end of the field, including improvements for slow speed cornering and running in the wet.
Despite finishing third in the Constructor’s Standings in 2014 and 2015, Williams enters 2016 on defense. A resurgent Ferrari has supplanted them as Mercedes’ strongest challenger, and a resurgent Red Bull could very well put podiums out of reach.
The FW38 is intended to keep that from happening.
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. – Sir Frank Williams
In fact, much of the teams downhill slide at the end of last season, can be directly attributed to them having locked up third place and allocating more resources to the new car. One which the team hopes will return them to victory, the final step needed to prove that their renaissance in form is a true return to greatness and not another false dawn.
With Pat Symonds and Rob Smedley pushing the team forward on the technical side, they may well be able to do it.
In drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, the team has one of the strongest pairings in the field. Bottas is young and hungry for his first win. Massa is a proven veteran looking for his first win since 2008, a long awaited vindication of his talent and dedication.
We will find out where the sit in the pecking order soon, as the first pre-season test at Catalunya begins Monday morning in Barcelona.