First pictures: Williams FW33 revealed

2011 F1 cars

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The Williams FW33 has done its first lap at Valencia.

The car is running in an interim livery for the first test session of the year.

See here for more pictures of the car

2011 F1 cars

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Images: Julien Leroy / and Racecar Engineering

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “First pictures: Williams FW33 revealed”

  1. Thanks for being so fast with these updates Keith, great effort. Other websites are miles behind!

    1. Do agree only autosport is doing just as fast as you are but I guess they have a bigger management team with only yourself.

      1. More often than not Keith is faster than autosport. Today I have a bit to much work to follow it that closely, but yesterday I was very impressed.

  2. looking good!!

    1. miguelF1O (@)
      1st February 2011, 12:51

      but not fast it looks stationarey like a photo

      1. Maybe because it is a photo?

  3. looks mean

  4. Man, you’re fast Keith!

    The Rearwing endplates look a bit odd. Can’t remeber though how they looked on last years car.

    For the reat I find it hard to see on this picture if it’s truly an agressice design, but mabe that’s the point of the interim livery

    1. remeber = remember
      reat = rest
      agressice = agressive
      mabe = maybe

      *note to self: take a breath*

    2. Is that en exhaust coming out of the top front of the sidepod?

      1. Do you think so? It could be. If it really is, now that’s radical!

        1. It is either an exhaust or possibly a vent for KERS. It can’t see if there is one the other side though.

          1. Could it really be an exhaust blowing so close to the tyres? I can’t see what else it would be.

      2. I think as there doesn’t seem to be another one.

  5. I love the old fashioned numbering on the side, I hope they keep it for the final livery.

    1. That said, I almost always like the interim livery Williams uses over their final one.

    2. Yeh, that looks really cool.

      1. Me too Adam. The interim liveries always look amazing. Shame it has to change.

        1. Seriously, it’s plain boring. I don’t know why you don’t like their 2009-2010 livery, because I just loved it.

  6. I quit like the retro testing livery. Car does not look that special, but it’s hard to say from this picture.

    1. The sidepods are sort of a mix of the Virgin VR-01 and the W32, I think, but lowered at the back. – On that first picture it does seem that the front lower wishbone connects to the edge of the sidepod, giving it a nice line. On the whole, the car looks rather slim and very clean lined, but a bit tame.

      I do like the retro numbering and livery – they will do worse in the final livery if history is anything to go by.

      1. When I wrote that, I hadn’t had a good look at the back of the car. It is a bit of an abrupt change, but I agree that with the Williams team that this is a very aggressive car – I hope it works well.

        I guess this car is showcasing this years trend: front very similar, high, rather flat, nose, strongly undercut sidepods – all of them have it, getting a bit boring; but then at the back everyone but Red Bull who already did it, is trying new ways of getting it ultra slim.

        Not sure it looks pretty, but very exciting to learn who has chosen the best solution. I hope it isn’t simply Red Bull.

    2. I do as well. It looks like a proper white knuckle racer, in much the same way the Sauber C30 does, to me. I hope they don’t go too overboard and saturate the blue too much. It looks fine as it is.

  7. looks way too plain. I’m not talking about the livery.. coz thats not finished, its just that the car design seems to have nothing innovative about it.

  8. i like the oldie number style (the number in the circle), but the car seems naked without sponsors…

  9. Dear Frank,

    Please run this livery for the rest of the year. It’s okay to put one or two more sponsors on, but there’s no need for anything fancy. In this case, less is more.


    F1 Fanatic.

    1. Yes, maybe we can send Ol’ Frank a petition to keep it like this.

      1. The thing is that Williams’ test liveries always look better than the final product. The white and navy blue just never seem to work properly to my eye. I wouldn’t object if gold or red were worked in for PDVSA/Venezuela, but they just keep producing bland liveries.

        1. The white and navy blue has always bothered me as well. I love the old fashioned number, it would be great if they did a nostalgic kind of thing for the final livery.

          1. They’ve confirmed that they are via Twitter. The final livery has been decided upon – it was settled yesterday, apparently – but there’s no word on when we’ll see it.

          2. The white and navy is just too nautical for my taste. Some gold in there would spice it up though and be a bit retro for Williams, which would make it bearable. That said I prefer this testing livery. I hope the retro number makes the final livery.

    1. Credit where credits is due, btw.
      Clip is from Olav Mol.

      1. Good work Olav Mol – I hope he manages to convince RTL NL to really go HD.

    2. Hm, they do have a nice undercut on the front of those sidepods.

    3. sounds like a lawnmower when its idling

  10. Best looking car so far (shape wise)

  11. Ok that’s it, ugliest looking car on the grid behind the Renault.

    1. I don’t understand why people think the Renault is ugly. It’s all curves, and it’s got a black livery with gold. If you want ugly, go look at the Hispania F110.

      1. I don’t understand why people think the Renault is ugly.

        Me neither. Especially when the same people are going crazy for the vomit-inducing Mercedes, and will doubtless hail McLaren’s bath taps when they are revealed.

        1. Actually, I like the Mercedes. Especially the way the silver fades into the green. I don’t think I’ve seen two shots that are identical; the livery appears to change depending on how the light hits it.

          If you want an ugly livery, I suggest the Lotus T128. The green is a fantastic colour. The yellow stripe idea they carried in 2010 worked. Even that sideways figure-of-eight design on the sidepod works. But that massive yellow bar at the rear end and the part that decorates the undercarriage ruin it. And also the way the green immediately around the sponsor decals is different to the green used on the rest of the car.

          1. So far I’ve like the look of all the cars launched. The Torro Rosso is pretty much a non-starter, but every other car looks more agressive than its predecessor and the liveries haven’t been terrible yet. I’m waiting for Virgin and HRT to be disappointed on both counts (Virgin for livery and HRT for their car).

          2. And also the way the green immediately around the sponsor decals is different to the green used on the rest of the car.

            This is likely a tv thing – I’d imagine you won’t notice it on tv, other than it will make even the smallest logo stand out, which is kinda what pays the bills.

            I’m loving all these side pods and dorsal intakes this year, so much more organic curves and exposed shapes. F1 cars are looking like the fastest single awarded around again, instead of long-wheelbase versions of James May’s sailboat tr7. Definitely with you on the shark fins PM

  12. I like the Mercedes…and you know, for a while I forgot Hispania were even on the grid. Oh the shame =(

    1. Wait, I clicked reply but it created a new block.

    2. If nothing else, I’m looking forward to Hispania’s livery. I’ve seen some stuff done by Daniel Simon, and he’s pretty good. Even if the racing drivers of of the eight-seventh century all look like Playboy bunnies. But I digress; it surprises me that nobody throught of commissioning a Hollywood art department to do a livery before. Hispania may be slow and they may have hopeless drivers in 2011, but damn it if they won’t look good doing it. And the slower the car, the longer we have to admire the livery.

      1. I am really excited to see what Simon comes up with for HRT. If anything they will have a pretty car, something most of the teams sadly don’t place any importance on anymore. You would think sponsors would want to be on a pretty car, but they don’t really care. Sponsors are what began putting an end to beautiful cars in the first place, and then of course that troublesome little gremlin known as aerodynamics.

      2. And the slower the car, the longer we have to admire the livery.

        Except that they’ll only end up on camera when they’re being lapped by frontrunners…

  13. We had years of blue and white cars (everywhere), now everyone wants to do the monotone cars. Can’t wait for a barbie sponsored car!

    The williams looks better than it has done for many years.

    1. You’ve obviously not seen Damon Hill’s pink Brabham :D

  14. I like the change of livery, but I really hope they try and go back to the old Williamses of the early 1990s, what with the Venezuelan influence and all. Just not stale blue and white again, it worked so well in the Rothmans years but not recently.

    Car looks pretty decent, we’ll see.

  15. What’s this exhaust-like thingy on the sidepods?

    1. Are you talking about on the top of the sidepod? Close to the front? I think it is just a vent, McLaren or someone had them recently, just for cooling I think. Maybe due to KERS?

      All in all Williams look to be getting on the right track, I am seeing some resemblances to the Ferrari. And although Ferrari never builds are car that looks like all the others, they always find a way to make it quick. Let’s hope Williams can too. I can’t think of anyone that would root against them, except maybe Force India ;)

    2. Adam Cooper posted a picture of the back end.
      The exhaust are there, although they do look a bit strange.

      And that back end is real tight, almost gone.

      1. It looks like they forgot to attach some body work, looks really low, but differently from Ferrari, they didn’t find an esthetically pleasing way to end it. Well, at least it is nicely tight, as cars seem to need this year.

        They also seem to have a shaped shield to guide the exhaust plume towards the diffuser and away from the tyres.

  16. I love interim testing liveries. I used to love when McLaren tested in Orange.

    Great updates Keith, much better pics than the other sites I’ve seen. Right up to the minute.

    I cant understand all of the comments from people saying, thats not aggressive. I’m no aero guru, but what is deemed as aggressive? Rockets fitted to the side, and maybe a flying car button?

    Look forward to hearing how they run today.

  17. If pictures are anything to go by, Williams are going to struggle this year. This looks the most ‘uninteresting’ car launched thus far.

    1. completely disagree. The rear end of this car is incredible, in my opinion the most innovative of the designs yet! The car just..ends!

      Can anyone explain this to me?

      1. I kind of found it not looking very fast too. Of course we know nothing, even if you are an aerodynamist you can’t know unless you see the data from aero tunnel and cfd but still it looks like it won’t be good enough to allow Williams to make the next step and start fighting for podiums.

  18. I love the Williams testing liveries. This one isn’t as good as the one they used few years back but I love huge old-style numbers on a cockpit sides.

    While we are at the car, what is with the rear end? The lack of it I mean, it is completely exposed!

  19. To me, the FW33 looks like it could be the best example of 2011 characteristics on a car. If you look at the fourth photo, the back end is extremely tight, the nose is relatively high to last years, much like the Ferrari, and the ‘spike’ fin combined with all those aspects. Does make them look funny, but it’s the time of year I suppose, we’re all getting used to the new shape.

  20. It’s a very gaunt-looking car. When I look at it, I think of skin pulled tightly over bone. There’s not an ounce of fat on it, but there’s not much meat, either.

  21. Nose reminds me a bit of the Walrus design.

    1. I came here to post that. In fact, all the teams seem to have gone for a walrus style nose attachment. So even though we all mocked Williams when they first put that on, it must have been (the combination with) the rest of the car that made it slow, rather than the design itself. Interesting to see how that works out this year.

      Perhaps Williams will have a slightly larger database to work from about how that particular nose works and they might be able to work out how it works in combination with the new tyres a tad quicker as a result. A nice thought, although perhaps not entirely realistic, I admit :)

  22. Seems like Williams is the only team that is doing live timing.

  23. Going by a couple of Twitter feeds, Williams will be running a “retro” livery in 2011. Read into that what you will …

    1. It will be the 1992 magic red 5 livery

      1. Have you got a source for that, or is this just a wishlist? Because Williams’ Twitter feed is dark. They obviously don’t want to let the cat out of the bag.

    2. Suspect Williams will be doing a fair bit of nostalgia this year, for reasons amplified a few weeks ago with the talk of flotation.

  24. The whole car is very interesting, especially the rear (or lack of it!). No one here seems to have noticed that the rear suspension connects to the rear wing support!

    1. I noticed!
      That is an incredibly innovative rear end.
      It looks like it may even be a tighter package than the Redbull and Ferrari.
      I like it, it’s the first time in a long time that I can say that about a Williams design – Good for them!
      (hopefully its fast)

      1. So i saw this earlier today off of @scarbsf1 twitter feed.. This is a great shoot of how really low their back end is.. If the key to downforce is getting the maximum amount of airflow through your rear diffuser then I’d say that Williams will have the leg up on everyone. And for god sakes look at the driveshaft angle… The gearbox is literally on the floor. This back end will get williams in the mix at the front field.

        1. And look at how that roll hoop and engine cover work to deliver that airflow, I can’t see how the downforce here isn’t going to be substantially more than eg a RB with its virtual shark fin.

          But then I’m not a fluid dynamics guy :)

  25. Interesting idea just underneath the air-intake.

  26. The rear wing design looks strikingly similar to the Ferrari…hmmmm.

  27. Car will be rothmans look o like!

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