The last of the F1 teams io unveil the car it'll be fielding in the 2013 season, Williams has finally pulled the wraps off the FW35.
As with every other car that'll be on the grid, the FW35 isn't hugely different from the car it replaces, with most of the changes being detail-based rather than blatantly obvious.
However, Williams' technical director Mike Coughlan seems to be (understandably) pretty impressed with the FW35 in it's current state.
Speaking to the press at the launch, Coughlan stated that Given the rule stability over the winter, I'm pleased with the gains that we've been able to make with this car. It's a better, more refined Formula One car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work they've done".
Indeed, Williams claims only 20% of last year's FW34 has been carried over without modification to the FW35. However, one element of the car now has to be re-engineered at the FIA's request.
Shortly after the Williams FW35 was revealed, the governing body of Formula One decreed the exhaust design that was present on the Williams (as well as the new Caterham) is a violation of the 2013 legislation, and thus have to be removed from the car.
The layout in question regards the bodywork towards the rear of the exhaust setup, which – according to the FIA – has been engineered to optimise exhaust flow, and as a result affect the airflow and downforce at the rear of the car, which goes against F1 legislation.
That little quibble aside (it's likely Williams will simply resort to the standard coanda setup the team experimented with at last year's Brazilian GP), the team remains confident in the FW35's prospects, reckoning it'll maintain the team's resurgence in the sport.
First impressions of the FW35
A little bit of F1 trivia for y'all: last year, Williams tried out at least 35 different floorplan designs over the course of the 2012 season, On average, that's 7 new designs every four races.
With that factoid to go on, we have no doubt over Williams' ability to develop the car over the course of the season. Which, given the team's form last year, is certainly reassuring.
Okay, so the team finished eight in the Constructors' standings, which isn't terribly impressive. But that statistic is out of context – it was consistency that plagued them last year. Had their been more Catalunya-style moments, Williams would have easily finished in a more appropriate position.
As far as the FW35 goes, then, we can easily see it being one of the faster of the mid-field cars at the very least, with perhaps a few giant-worrying moments over the course of the 2013 season.
The big area of doubt, though, is over Williams' driver line-up. New recruit Valterri Bottas is currently unproven in a proper F1 qualifying or race environment, and Pastor Maldonado did have a few controversial marks on his overall profile last year.
That said, Bottas did post some decent Friday Practice times last year, and Maldonado was a noticeably calmer and more consistent driver towards the latter half of the year, so it's likely he'll be in a similar state for the 2013 season.
And, as we all know, Maldonado has a terrific knack for posting unbelievably fast lap times in an Ayrton Senna-esque style, so if the Venezuelan's managed to control thatr fiery on-track character of his, it's easy to see why the Williams F1 team is so confident for the 2013 season.
It may have taken a while for us to finally lay eyes on it, but these first impressions suggest the wait for the Williams FW35 has certainly been worth it. Roll on, Albert Park!