Williams Launch FW 36 In England

Valterri Bottas (left) and Felipe Massa sit next to the new Williams Martini Racing livery Thursday evening in London. [Photo by Getty Images]

LONDON, England- Following the fact that Williams Grand Prix had participated in the recent pre-season tests in Spain and Bahrain respectively, the Grove, England based team had never launched their car yet. And with less than a week to go until the first race of the 2014 Formula One season, they finally did on Thursday evening.

With all familiar fanfare, the Williams Grand Prix team with their blue car and Renault engine, suddenly transformed into the Williams Martini Racing team, with now under the power of Mercedes engines. The main sponsor itself, a drinks manufacturer from Italy, is very famous for backing formula one squads from the past, including Brabham in the late 1970’s.

The deal announced at an event in London means that the team will support this livery throughout the entire season, with Brazilian Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas of Finland being joined by newcomers Felipe Nasr and returning tester Scot Susie Wolff.

Frank Williams himself, one of the longest team principals in the sport was overjoyed about the involvement of such a familiar sponsor.

“We are thrilled to welcome Martini to the Williams family and officially launch Williams Martini Racing,” Sir Frank Williams said. “Williams and Martini share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of Martini Racing return to Formula One once again in unison with Williams.

“2014 is going to be a fascinating season, with regulation changes of this scale often shaking up the grid and creating opportunities for teams to make a good step forward. Over the winter we have proved our ambition by making a number of positive changes; we welcome a new driver pairing, new senior technical personnel, and a number of new commercial partners for 2014. In testing the car has covered an impressive amount of mileage, which is testament to the hard work of everyone in the factory and our colleagues at Mercedes. We have developed a very strong working relationship with them which has proved vital in understanding the new power unit and maximizing its performance. We head to Australia next week excited about the season’s prospects.”

With so many seasons in the past wasted, perhaps this could be the year that this team finally can be regular attendees on the winner’s podium.

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