Unveiling a show car on Tuesday only to put the real Williams FW44 on the track hours later, Jost Capito has explained that was all because of the paint job.
Williams launched their 2022 season on Tuesday, Nicholas Latifi and new signing Alex Albon taking the covers off a car but not the one Williams will race this season.
It was a show car, effectively the FIA’s display model but with a few tweaks, decked out in the new dark blue Williams livery.
It was thought this had been done to keep the FW44’s secrets hidden, as most of the teams have done this launch season. But then hours later, Williams put the genuine car on the track for a shakedown and released photographs of it.
So why the fake launch?
“We were still working on the colour design,” Capito, the team’s CEO, explained to the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. “We wanted it to be perfect.
“That’s why we could only implement it on the show car because it took a long time. We just wanted to show something decent.”
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But it is not just in the showing that Williams want to do something decent this season – the Grove team also want that in their results.
Last season, Williams relinquished the wooden spoon, scoring 23 points on their way to eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship. That put the team ahead of Alfa Romeo and Haas.
Capito, though, has warned against expecting another big jump this season despite Formula 1 introducing all-new cars.
“To get the team back to where we want to be, from where it was, is a long way,” the BBC quote him as having said. “It’s not something we can fix in one year.
“Progress will be [measured by] how we can improve compared to competition through the season, wherever we start the season.”
The Williams that hit the track at Silverstone was significantly different to the show car, especially in the design of the front wing, the sidepods and the air box.
Capito concedes Williams, and their nine rivals, right now have no clue as to where their car will be in this year’s pecking order.
He told the official F1 website: “We are really looking forward to the season. It is a bit of excitement, a bit of worrying because everyone has an all-new car and nobody knows.
“We don’t know where we stand, the others don’t know where they stand. It will be really exciting to go to Barcelona [for testing].
“Last year, we didn’t have expectations with that car. The podium [at the Belgian Grand Prix] was a weird weekend. It wasn’t like we had the speed to get on the podium.
“Now the regulations are different, it offers a new start for everybody and the cost cap balances things out.
“But it takes a couple of years to balance it out because the investment other teams have done in the years when Williams couldn’t invest is still there, so that should be a benefit for some of the teams in developing the car but you never know.
“I think we did a focused job and we will see where the car will be.”
Williams and the reason for the fake launch
Jost Capito has explained the reason behind Williams fake launch.