Williams presented their new Formula One car on Friday – after hackers foiled plans for an “augmented reality” launch – revealing a livery inspired by their world championship-winning cars of three and four decades ago.
The British team enter their first full season under the ownership of the US-based investment firm Dorilton Capital. The FW43B car has “a dramatic new visual identity sporting a livery inspired by Williams’ all-conquering cars of the 1980s and 1990s, combining blue, white and yellow accents”, the team said.
Williams had planned to reveal the car via an augmented reality app but scrapped it “because the app was hacked prior to launch”. The team wanted to offer fans an innovative launch “during this difficult time when being able to bring in-person experiences directly to our fans is sadly not possible. We can only apologse that this has not been possible.”
Williams hope to revive their fortunes when their drivers, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, take to the grid for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March. The team finished bottom in the constructors’ standings in the past two seasons, scoring only one point, from Robert Kubica’s 10th-place finish at the German Grand Prix in 2019.
“Williams Racing is a sporting icon, and a team that has forged a reputation of success through sheer determination and grit intertwined with innovation, passionate and skillful race-craft and an absolute desire to win,” their chief executive, Jost Capito, said in a statement.
The livery, Capito said, “acknowledges our incredible past and retains the spirit, drive and motivation that remains at the core of Williams’ DNA yet looks to the future and signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front of the grid”.
Russell said the new look has a “hint of heritage”. “Altogether, I think it’s exciting and I think that’s the team at the moment – new ownership, new look, new brand and it’s the start of a new beginning,” the 23-year-old British driver said in a video posted on the team’s Twitter account.