Formula 1

Wlliams Martini Racing FW36 livery launched

2014 Williams Martini Racing FW36

The Williams F1 Team was expected to announce a new sponsorship deal with Martini and that confirmation came through overnight. With that news comes a host of images bringing us the latest interpretation of the classic Martini racing stripes, as applied to the 2014 FW36.

Sir Frank Williams spoke with optimism about the season ahead as well as the team’s new commercial partner. “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,” he said. “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 Martini we have a brand that shares a passion for motor racing and winning championships. This partnership is a milestone in our history and we look forward to working closely with MARTINI over the coming years.”

More photos of the new Martini livery and the full press statement from Williams Martini Racing can be seen after the break.

Formula 1

2014 Williams FW36 revealed

2014 Williams FW36

Williams has revealed a series of renderings showing their 2014 F1 car, the FW36. And as you can see we have confirmation of our first finger-style front nose. It looks a bit like an anteater, too.

There’s a couple of firsts for Williams here: it’s the first time the team has worked with a Mercedes-Benz engine power unit and the first time they’ve run an 8-speed gearbox.

Chief Technical Officer, Pat Symonds, explains some of the challenges in designing this car: “There’s a lot more technology on the cars this year. We’ve had turbo-charged engines in F1 before; what’s different this time is that it is much more than just an engine change, it is a completely different system. We’ve gone from a slightly hybridised normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.

“Overall the cars will need more cooling this year. The demands on water and oil cooling may be slightly diminished, but the ERS system is significantly more powerful and hence needs more cooling. We also have to cool the charge air from the turbocharger compressor which requires a substantial intercooler.”

Williams has given a rough timeline for the design of the new car, which we’ve listed in dotpoint form below:

  • CAD data for 2014 power unit received from Mercedes mid-way through last season
  • FW36 design phase completed by mid-September 2013
  • New gearbox run on dyno in early-November 2013
  • Launch spec aero packaged finalised in early-December 2013
  • Transmission mated to power unit on dyno in December 2013
  • FW36 crash test passed before Christmas 2013
  • Melbourne-spec aero package approved in early-January 2014

UPDATE 29 January: Williams has tweeted a pic of the car from the team’s pit garage at Jerez (see below).

Formula 1

Formula 1’s lucky numbers

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

As the new F1 season draws near we can start getting all excited about the numbers the drivers will choose in this new era of permanent numbers.

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen wants number 7 apparently. But so does Jules Bianchi. A bitch fight to settle it perhaps?

Other numbers nominated to date include:

  • Fernando Alonso (14)
  • Valtteri Bottas (77)
  • Jenson Button (22)
  • Romain Grosjean (8)
  • Kevin Magnussen (20)
  • Felipe Massa (19)
  • Sergio Perez (11)
  • Nico Rosberg (6)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (25)

It’s not known yet if Daniel Ricciardo has selected a preference. Do you think he will stick with the number 19 he raced with in 2013 or choose something new?

We wonder, if our Mark was still in F1 if he would choose number 2, just for a laugh?

[Source: Planet F1 | Pic: Toro Rosso/Getty Images]

Formula 1

Felipe Massa to race for Williams in 2014

Felipe Massa

After eight years with Ferrari Felipe Massa will be moving to Williams in 2014. He will race alongside 2013 rookie Valtteri Bottas, which leaves Pastor Maldonado being officially thanked for his services.

The 32-year-old Brazilian has won 11 races and stood on an F1 podium 36 times. On current form he’ll have to be an optimist to hold expectations those stats will receive notable increases during his time with Williams, despite his new team’s past glories.

And you sense Massa is acutely aware of that as well: “With such a major change of regulations in 2014, I hope my experience will be useful in helping the team in its effort to move on from a difficult period.

“I’m highly motivated to start working hard from the very beginning in what is an exciting new challenge in my career.”

Sir Frank Williams has spoken, too: “We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2014 driver line-up and welcome Felipe into the Williams family. He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track; he also brings a wealth of experience as we begin a new chapter in our story. Valtteri is a valued member of the team and I’m pleased he was able to demonstrate his talent in tricky conditions in Montréal. There is much more to come from him.”

Deputy Team Principal, Claire Williams, has been left to do the heavy lifting in terms of rebuilding team hopes: “This announcement is a key step towards our goal of returning Williams to the front of the grid, and part of our on-going plans to ensure we are stronger in 2014 and beyond. The stability of having both our drivers on multi-year contracts, Mercedes-Benz as our engine partner and a strong commercial base all contribute to the future success of the Williams F1 Team.”

You can read the full Williams F1 Team announcement after the break.