Williams Launch FW 34 Ahead Of 1st Test In Spain

JEREZ, Spain- Just hours before the first formula one test of the season on February 7th , Williams launched their new FW34 early in the morning hours with a no- frill affair in front of the world’s media.

Drivers Pastor Maldonado and newbie Bruno Senna rolled the car out which like the other F1 cars debuting this week, featured a stepped up nose and a similar rear end like its predecessor last year. But the team will be hoping for a more competitive package that has seen the team decline in many years, especially with the departure of technical director Sam Michael, now at McLaren. Mike Coughlin now replaces him, and is joined by Mark Gillian. For the first time since 1997, the team will enjoy the benefits of a customer Renault engine at their disposal.

Maldonado returns to the team with his heavily financed Venezuelan oil money, and in his second season is looking forward to better results. But Senna is a trademark name that Williams could not miss, since his uncle raced before him in 1994. But the Brazilian replaces a legend in Rubens Barrichello, who after 17 season of F1 driving now is looking at an Indy drive. Already, Senna has raced for such teams as HRT and Lotus Renault GP (now just Lotus), so the young prodigy has a lot more experience than his South American companion.

“We are really looking forward to this season and from a personal perspective I can’t wait to get the FW34 on to the race track.” Said Gillian. “The factory has worked extremely hard over the winter to ensure that the car met its design, build and rig test targets and we start testing with the car prepared to a high standard. We’ve worked in close co-operation with all of our partners to achieve that, including Renault Sport F1. In the run-up to Australia, we will be working hard with our exciting new driver line-up to ensure that we maximize and unlock the full potential of the FW34. It is imperative that we demonstrate a continuous improvement in our performance and deliver results throughout the season.”

Sir Frank Williams, even with the departure of partner Patrick Head, who went to the hybrid division of the company, has been a huge contributor since 1979. But regardless of Head’s decision to move on, Williams believes that it is just another chapter in the team’s history.

One could say that looking at the Williams F1 Team today we are off to a truly fresh start,” Stated Williams. “We have a new car, new driver line up, new engine and new senior personnel. We also have a number of new partners who have joined the team in the past few months. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome them formally and sincerely wish that they have an enjoyable and, most importantly, a valuable experience with us. The team has had a good winter at the factory and we feel ready and strong for the fight.”

If timing was an issue on this day, then Williams had the pole because only 20 minutes after the launch, Maldonado got into the new car, and began to test. The Venezuelan will test for two days, with Senna finishing the last two.

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