Williams follow McLaren in Silverstone shakedown

Jon Wilde


Williams have followed McLaren by rolling out their new car in a filming day at Silverstone, running the FW43B in a plain livery.

On Tuesday, McLaren were the first team to get their 2021 car on track, less than 24 hours after they had displayed it to the world in a Sky Sports-televised launch show.

Now Williams, who will not be staging their own launch until March 5, have followed suit by visiting Silverstone and, according to the Formula 1 website, the day ran smoothly.

A tweet from the Williams team showed a wrapped-up Nicholas Latifi standing on the pit wall watching on as the car, driven by George Russell, whizzed past on a damp-looking track.

It was the first of Williams’ two designated filming days on which they can run their car for a maximum of 100km on demonstration Pirelli tyres.

The car is the first to be produced since the departure of the Williams family, who sold the team to American investment firm Dorilton Capital with Jost Capito drafted in during the winter as CEO.

Simon Roberts has been confirmed as the permanent team principal having fulfilled an interim role since the departure of Claire Williams after the Italian Grand Prix last September.

Williams, who have finished last in the Constructors’ Championship for the past three years, are hoping this season will be the start of a new chapter that sees them start to climb back up the order.

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With large parts of the 2020 chassis being carried over to 2021, due to the delaying of the new regulations until 2022, Williams have recognised this in their new car with the addition of the ‘B’ after their 2020 challenger was named the FW43.

While acknowledging Williams are starting from a very low base in targeting swift improvement, Capito, the new CEO, does not anticipate rapid strides being made immediately given the 2021 regulations are very similar to last year’s.

“With the new beginning, also with the new owners, you now have the opportunity to restructure and streamline again,” said the 62-year-old German.

“This is important because fewer than zero points is not possible! It can only be better.

“But no matter what changes you make, it always goes down first. Then it has to go up. That means for this year, no miracles are to be expected because you can only change very little on the car.”

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