Williams showcase their new livery at the launch of the FW44

Williams have followed in the footsteps of McLaren and Aston Martin, unveiling a car – but a show car- at their season launch.

This year’s launch season is fast becoming the year of the picture with the majority of the teams keen to keep their secrets hidden, although some – such as Williams – are being a bit more bold, but only a bit more.

The team took the covers off the FW44, in an online launch attended by new signing Alex Albon and his team-mate Nicolas Latifi.

The car, however, was more in line with a show car than the Williams that will hit the track come the first run in Spain next week.

In an interesting juxtaposition, while the 2022 car is a lot darker, the FW44’s livery is a dark blue with red and light blue accents, Williams’ future is potentially a lot brighter.

After three seasons at the very bottom of the Constructors’ standings, Williams bounced up to eighth place last season even bagging a podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, although that was a result based on qualifying and not a proper race.

But those nine points went a long way towards helping Williams achieve their best finish since 2017.

This season the team is pinning its hopes on Formula 1’s new technical regulations.

Welcome to the new era. Introducing the FW44 💪 pic.twitter.com/nkOIOYmhpO

— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) February 15, 2022

The cars are completely different to last season’s, even the design philosophy has changed with Formula 1 moving away from over-car airflow to ground effect aerodynamics.

That coupled with the budget cap has the nine-times Constructors’ champions dreaming of a brighter future.

“The regulations are really new, the whole aerodynamic concept is different,” said Williams CEO Jost Capito.

“It should allow the cars to race closer but we will see. The theory is one thing and the reality has to prove that the theory is right.”

Speaking about the Williams car, he added: “A real beauty and if it is as fast as it looks we’ll be very, very good.”

The team has a new driver this season, Albon signed as Latifi team-mate following Russell’s move to Mercedes.

Albon is back on the grid this season having spent 2021 as Red Bull’s reserve driver while for Latifi this will be his third season with the Grove team.

Williams meanwhile announced a new multi-year partnership with battery manufacturer Duracell, the branding featuring prominently on the cars as well as the team’s kit.

“I am so proud of this partnership between Williams and Duracell, and I am grateful for the trust and confidence they have put in us,” said Capito.

 

“Having their name on the side of our car is a personal highlight for me, as my nickname for 30 years has been Duracell – because I never run out of energy. I am very much looking forward to our work together.”

 

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