Williams FW33 livery revealed

2011 F1 cars

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Williams have revealed the definitive livery of their 2011 F1 car.

Their car will retain the blue-and-white of last year with stripes that hark back to their 1990s Rothmans livery.

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    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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    154 comments on “Williams FW33 livery revealed”

    1. That really wasn’t worth the wait.

      1. Didn’s you like the show of the kitchen, then?

        Livery pretty much on the same level as all their agressive/new cars have been up to this year. Not really special.
        Good thing at least that gearbox is interesting to talk about.

        1. So dissapointed. The most exciting thing was mishearing that Michael Caine was doing the catering this year haha

      2. It may look better in the sunlight, the colours are altered due to the lights.

        1. Yeah, I kind of wondered why they didn’t light it properly. Kind of like the Lotus launch, except that was a rendering. This is the real car. Light it properly for ****’s sake!

          I think you’re probably right that it will look a lot better in the sun.

      3. Yeah, faultless and boring…typical Williams!

      4. Completely agree that it wasn’t worth the wait – but also I think its the best livery on the grid. Renault, THAT is how you do rework a retro livery.

        Only thing is that there was no need to hype it up/have an official launch for it.

        1. Ruined. The “livery” they had before was much better.

          1. It doesn’t look like the 1990s livery with Rothmans! What is going on?

    2. prefer what they had before

      1. am I the only one here who thinks this is a pretty cool livery now…?!
        the bold white strips and the rothmans stripes with the red details are beautiful!

        1. I agree that it is pretty cool – at least at the back. I also like the way the red line goes in front of the cockpit.

          1. yes, the red stripes make it really cool!

            loved it.

            i didn’t get the darkness too, but let’s see how it looks outdoors.

    3. I quite like it, but I still like the interim livery more.

    4. Rothmans-esque with less sponsors.

      Airbox and top of the sidepods look good.
      The rest? Meh.

      1. Agreed. I don’t like the top of the nose cone.

        I tweaked it a little bit (in MSPaint) so it was white and I think it works better. What do you think?


        1. yes, they should have done that. Send it to them!!!!

        2. Really improves it.

        3. Almost makes you wonder if they wanted to do that, but had a lawyer advise to colour that bit blue, just in case Canada came after them and looked under Sodium lamps to make the silver look gold, then fine them :)

          1. That’ll be the reason, just as well for putting in silver instead of gold.

      2. Meh indeed. Williams are so boring I only remembered they existed this morning. Now I can go back to forgetting them again

        1. the livery looks like a racing car. Which is what it is. Its not some moving bling, its a racing car.

          I like it because it is exactly what it is.

          1. If it has 4 wheels, two wings, sidepods and a nosecone, I think anything looks like a racing car. The livery is there to define its image a bit more, and in my opinion the Williams livery does nothing

            1. there are “racing car” liveries, and there are liveries which are to present some image. This is a racing car livery.

              Its image is “we’re here to race, everything else is secondary”

            2. i think HRT will prove you wrong

          2. Unfortunately for an accurate post tobacco ban Rothman’s livery that’s the only thing lacking – the word RACING or ???????? to replace Rothman’s!!!

            1. Didn’t need to. They have “Randstad” – look even the first letter is right – replacing that. And the PDVSA nicely replaces the Castrol.

              I had a look at F1 colours. Pretty nifty trick to explain why they presented it with this lighting:
              For a kickoff, there’s something fairly clever about the way the car’s been presented, at the launch itself and in these shots. Because, from the lighting, and at an initial glance, the second trim colour on the car, along with the red, appears to be gold – successfully calling to mind the Rothmans livery of the 1990s that the car is intended to evoke. But in fact, when you look closer up – and I’m sure this will become more apparent when we get either a studio launch, or some shots of the car on track – those stripes aren’t gold. They’re silver.

              So in other words, should someone in authority accuse the team of advertising cigarettes, they can turn around and say “No, we’ve just put red and silver on the car in honour of our new sponsor PDVSA, I don’t know where you’ve got the fag packet idea from”.

              Clever, it is realy a redone smoke from ’97!

            2. that should have been a blockquote. sorry.

      3. I like it more then last seasons. But then i like today more then yesterday because i feel less ill, so its faint praise, but praise.

        1. I don’t get the “It looks like a racing car”

          A brown racing car looks like a racing car. What of it?

          1. I posted this in the forum earlier….

            Moving 2 logos around, instantly (in my eyes) makes a rather dreary livery look a whole lot better, and fully maximises the Rothmans lines.


            1. Yes, but by leaving it blank, they show possible sponsors there is room on the car for their logo. If they fill the logo with someone elses, sponsors may take no notice.

            2. If that’s their plan, then why not pull an HRT and put “We’re desperate for any and all sponsorship! Please give us a Starbucks giftcard and we’ll put your name on our car!” That would get the idea across.

    5. the style of this livery is much like the car driven by D.Hills in the past in 90s.

    6. Thanks for the pics Kieth .

    7. Not a huge change, but I like the fact that its harking back to the Rothmans glory days, particluarly near the back of the sidepods.

      I wonder if the Canadian authorities will have the same issues with Williams as they are going to have with Renault?

      1. Good point, though the Williams livery is far less blatant. Still, it looks like retro is in.

      2. How are Ferrari not allowed to have a few red stripes on the car but two teams can copy cigarette packets and get away with it?

        Rothmans is even trending on Twitter for goodness sake.

        1. Anything can trend on twitter. What crowds think is what one person thought and someone else agreed with. Anyone who has done any reading on crowd behaviour would be worried if anyone was seriously using what was trending on twitter as a basis for decision making.

        2. I know,the world of F1 is full of strange goings on, that’s why we love it!

          I see loads of people say the FW33 needs more sponsors, but this image of the FW16 shows that Williams only had 6 sponsors on it, one less than the FW33!


          1. Sorry, 7 in total!

          2. This also shows the current car looks nothing like the Rothmans livery.

          3. well, i think that those tobacco conglomerates paid much more than Chavez’s little friends…

            1. This is true, and it costs a bit more to run an F1 team these days too.

        3. I see your point, but I think the key difference is that Ferrari are getting money from a tobacco company, and the barcode was clearly there in place of that company’s logo, whereas Williams and Renault are not (as far as we know) getting any money from tobacco companies, just imitating the liveries that are associated with successful cars of the past that happened to have tobacco sponsorship. I admit, it’s still a bit dubious as the connection with tobacco can still be made indirectly.

        4. In addition to what Mateo said, Williams will no doubt point out some key differences, like that it is darker blue, with a darker red stripe, and then silver, not gold. Anyone who knows the Rothmans livery will recall seeing this car, but it is also clearly a different set of colours; colours that match with their new non-tobacco sponsor.

          1. I think Williams’ livery is quite subtle in the way it makes the link to the Rothmans cars – it’s really only around the sidepods that it becomes obvious what they’ve done, and even then you’d have to have prior knowledge of the Rothmans livery to get it. Renault’s effort is rather more blatant, and as I said before, Ferrari actually do get tobacco money, and after having their barcode banned they’ve gone and incorporated what is basically a stylised version of the Marlboro logo into the team’s logo.

    8. I like it. It’s nothing too radical on last year I guess but the sidepods and fin look really nice.

    9. I prefer it to last years boring livery. Its has the ‘Rothmans’ vibe about it :)

      that ‘tight rear end’ does look fragile though :\

      1. Agreed!! big improvement!

      2. I agree, the rear will never survive being ‘webbered’

        1. Although since it’s so low, Webber may see it as more of a speed bump rather than a moving road block…

    10. Gorgeous livery! I love it! very much like the rothmans livery of the past! Much better than 2010!

    11. About as exciting as Nick Heidfeld.

      1. Blasphemy!

    12. Is this an expensive spot the difference game?

      1. no, but I’m guessing its going to be an expensive trip to the optometrist for you.

    13. It still annoys me that AT&T are title sponsors, yet you hardly notice their logo. Why not put it on the sidepod/airbox so it is more noticable? At lease then it would look like Williams have actually got some sponsors.

      1. Why not put it on the sidepod/airbox so it is more noticable?

        Presumably because AT&T won’t pay the extra.

      2. The exposure sponsors get is proportional to their financial or technical contribution.

        The logos are not there for the sake of ‘looks’.

      3. Because that’s not the deal. AT&T pay for their name in the title, not their logo on the sidepods. I agree- it’s a strange arrangement, but that’s the deal…

    14. I’m not a fan. The irony of this is that it’s a mess, but a few minor changes could make it look really good:

      1) Get some more sponsors in there. Maybe include some big numbers.
      2) Those vertical fins alongside the sidepods should be dark blue, not white.
      3) The whole topside of the nose assembly, from the Williams logo back to the cockpit, should be white.

      Once again, it’s a case of the testing livery looking better than the definitive one. But a few minor changes should make it considerably better.

      I’m also not keen on the way Sam Michael presented it. Pretty much the first thing he said was “We knew we wanted something different” and it was for the sake of being different. The design should produce the best car available, even if it is the most generic and conservative design imaginable. If it works, notbody will care. But to deliberately make something new for the sake of being new sounds like you’ve compromised yourself from inception. No doubt the FW33 has the best design available with that shrink-wrapped bum in mind (I refuse to say “tight rear end” after that presentation – you could have turned it into a respectable drinking game), but the burning question is whether that is the best design overall.

      1. to follow on your thought. They want to do something new … and end up redoing something old!

      2. I hadn’t realized until you pointed it out that the large round retro numbers are now gone from the car. I agree, the testing livery was better. This is the second biggest livery letdown of the year behind Sauber.

    15. The livery is nothing special but Michael’s brief was great.

      1. You mean the chef, don’t you?

        1. I mean Sam, but getting a Michelin starred chef to run the kitchen is also great. :)

          1. I think Pirelli may have something to say about that.

    16. Is that a grey stripe dividing the white? Or silver? I can’t really see in this light. Nice touch though.

      Not exactly a flabbergasting livery, but I like it.

      1. Could’ve turned the lights on couldn’t they? Or they that hard up?

      2. According to ITV it’s actually gold!?

    17. Such an unprofessional launch . They didn’t show the car , pathetic lighting , the guy who was speaking kept fumbling and *** was the chef doing ????

    18. wwhhhaaaaaaaaattt!! all the hype for… hmmm… nothing!

      I thought we were going to see some extraordinary change from their standard and instead, we didn’t!

      I know teams like to have their image or team colours but surely they could have done something different to mark the change of the RBS era and part of the team floating.

      If it had been different it might have tempted me to buy some shares lol :D

    19. Pff. Nothing special. The interim livery looked better and photos in this ridiculous dark setting are awful.

    20. well i like it.. needs another sponsor, but i like it

    21. What is the point of showing dark pictures of the ‘new’ livery?
      If that car was parked outside my house. I still would not recognize it. PR gone mad.

    22. their left-rear tyre is graining already.

    23. Does it still carry the Senna-sign?

      1. Yes it does – see the outside of the front wing supports

    24. Fun fact: this isn’t just a tribute to the FW16-FW19 livery. The white ring around the blue nose is pulled driectly from 2008’s FW30.

      1. Yes, they have had it since about then – the nose isn’t very different; I did use to think that the white bit in front of the cockpit they had there was sort of to remind us of this same Rothmans livery – odd that on this recreation of it they didn’t have it!

    25. 1 word – disappointed

    26. Didn’t really like it at first but on closer inspection, I think it’s loads better than last years boring effort. The red doesn’t really stand out but I don’t think that lighting helps.

      Personally, I think it could be one of the nicer looking cars when we get to see it at the next test in natural lighting.

    27. Are they also going to have problems in Canada ?

    28. My first thoughts were, a nod back to the 1995/96/97 livery (ouch just remembered that horrid red phase they had before the BMW involvement)

    29. I quit like it for a Williams livery. Look how they put the Venezuelans there where the red Castrol was in ’97.

      The thing I am really starting to feel bad about though is these tobacco liveries getting in. Sure Williams replaced the gold with silver, but still.

      It makes me think HRT might really be looking back to Luckys with their Cosmic Motors livery.

      After last years debate about the Marlbs barcode replaced by the pack of smokes by Ferrari I was wondering how long the other companies would put up with Ph.Morris fragrantly ignoring the agreement between the companies to adhere from this.

      Now we have the answer. They have sneeked way back in.

      1. This is an interesting point.

        The problem is that tobacco livery’s defined F1’s image for so long that they became intertwined.

        The Williams livery is a hark back to their successful period, which is why its more acceptable. The Renault livery is simply a cash in, the team is not the same one as back then.

        Either way though, because the liveries were so iconic regardless of their tobacco sponsorship, I don’t see it as subliminal advertising. That, and also the status of tobacco is completely different now to what it was in the early 90’s and before that. Smoking is no longer the same social behaviour that it used to be and without wishing to upset any smokers, it is much less acceptable too.

        1. Well but the tobacco companies are looking even harder for ways to get that tiny bit of exposure, now that rightout advertising is not allowed.

          And smoking seems to be on the rise in some European countries as well as in Asia.

          1. tomforpresident
            24th February 2011, 21:44

            i doubt it is some kind of comspiracy.

            also ferrari is the only company receiving money from a tobacco company.

            at the end of the day people like retro, f1 companies want to do things people like and in f1 retro means tobacco.

    30. look really nice!!

    31. Horribly non-descript Livery. It looks like they got an accountant to design it!

    32. What happened to the big numbers on the sidepods that they’ve used in testing??

      I loved them!!

    33. I’ll reserve my judgement for daylight. That lighting masks all the detail and makes it look cack!!

      I’m sure it will be more elegant in the flesh.

    34. HounslowBusGarage
      24th February 2011, 12:08

      I did a doubletake when I saw the side view. Just for a moment I mis-read PDVSA as HONDA!

    35. I like the back end, great shapes with a nice style. Problem is the front lets its down, it makes it look too fat. Overall I’m very disappointed it makes a fantastic looking car look very poor. I think I prefer the testing livery.

      They need some more imagination, they’re about as predictable as Ferrari with the colours !!

    36. It actually reminds me a bit of a Tyrell from the late 80s or early 90s.

    37. To all those doubters who were posting that Williams new livery was not worthy of the hype and would be the usual beige Ned ‘Bland’ers effort. You were… right, can’t believe I got caught up in it :-(

    38. Nothing new to see here.
      Some blue and white like last year, with a “la retro” silver.
      Interim livery was better IMO
      They should work on that blue, it’s way to dark.

    39. i really like it. the red stripes are great.

      1. they’re red?! I’m being dead serious here.

        1. Oh yeah, they are.

    40. I like it, in fact, I really like it.

      I have no clue why the reaction has been so bad,
      To be honest I think after the Mercedes, or in fact, maybe with it, this has to be my favourite. Just great.

      Fantastic. Can’t wait to see it in Melbourne.

    41. Ok, I admit it. I liked the interim livery better. It made the front end of the car look mean, like a shark. This livery has a more “corporate” flavour.

    42. I like it, better than before.

      Could of done with a small splash of yellow or red

    43. the Ferrari barcode is gone, but here we have a Rothmans-esque Williams and a Renault in JPS livery. why is no-one moaning about alleged subliminal messages?

      1. Because Williams is not sponsored by Rothmans, Lotus Renault is not sponsored by JPS.

        Ferrari are however still sponsored by Marlboro.

        1. I would not be too sure about the claims made in that first sentance. Would not be the first time Tobacco found secret ways to get the money where it wants.

      2. I wouldn’t say the barcode has gone, it’s just now transformed into a Marlboro logo…. I mean Ferrari logo…

    44. Excellent photos… is hard to see the innovations on the car, is there any?
      Front exhausts? pull-rod? SIDEPODS?

      They are worth for very little!

      1. How about pull rod rear suspension, the smallest gearbox on the grid and a non-existent back end? The back of the car looks pretty innovative to me.

        1. Yes! but, can you tell it from the Photos?

          I don’t dislike the car, I dislike the photos. There is no detail, even something as explicit as the sidepods cannot be seen.

          They are flashy, they are cool, but they are useless as a source of information.

          1. You do realise its a livery launch right? We’ve already seen the actual car…

    45. I was really looking forward to this and I have to say dissapointment all round. Mainly because I cant even see the car, why are all the photos so dark!!!!!! or is it just me, i dont know? I just hope all the best for williams this year, is to much to say i hope they are in front of ferrari?

    46. Matthew McMahon
      24th February 2011, 13:40

      Looks well with the Pirelli tyres! I think it looks good

    47. Well, it’s Williams: Decent and functional.
      The livery perfectly matches that phylosophy and that is why I really like it. If only they could step up and race for the odd podium and overall 4th in the constructor’s…

      Anyway, I prefer this kind of livery every day over silver/green, or chrome/pink (sorry, orange), uninspired red/white or – by far the ugliest – a bunch of red cows!

    48. Tom, Dick & Harry
      24th February 2011, 13:54

      Firstly, i quite like it and believe it will be a lot better in natural daylight.

      Secondly, this didn’t scream Rothmans at me! I’m just old enough to remember the Williams-Rothmans glory days and to be honest, if the article hadn’t referenced them, i wouldn’t have thought about it.

      If people (ie governments, anti-smoking campaigners etc) are going to get het up about tobacco sponsorship, how are Ferrari still allowed to have Marlboro in their official team name?

      1. Very good question, that last one. And possibly one of the reasons these “retro” liveries are on the grid now”

    49. Despite being a truely non-incredible scheme, fantastic use of the colours blue and white. I mean what can you do with blue and white?

      Everyone who feels underwhelmed by this would be singing its praises if Willams were erigning champions. Williams have been suffering from a mid-field image, and we just tack that on to our perception of their livery. If they start winning, we associate the scheme differently.

      They definitely missed a trick by not carrying the classic interim numbering through onto the final version though.

    50. I was expecting the usual blue and white, so there is nothing to be dissapointed about to me. However, I love the red and gold stripes, reminds me so much of the classic rothmans livery. That added extra really impresses me about this car. I’m a fan.

    51. blue is too dark. lighter shade of blue would be better

    52. Blimey that very, very similar to the rothmans livery.

      Compare out these two pictures:

      The way the stripes are on the sidepod and just behind the roll hoop are pretty much identical

      1. Look at pictures of the 1997 Williams, it had the colours on the airbox exchanged. Makes it even more identical, including the Randstad replacing the smokes brand.

      1. Or click on the link in the article…

        1. I am on my mobile I can’t see the link :p

    53. Is it possible that tobbaco companies are making behind the curtain sponsorship agreements with the teams? I mean.. 3 of the current teams are using liveries with the intention of resembling tobbaco companies colors…

      1. That’s an interesting point.
        The story about Renault-Lotus possibly having to change their livery for the Canadian GP has gone quiet. Maybe there’s more to come on this front…

        1. What about linking the HRT with the lucky strikes on BAR?

      2. By now I think that is a pretty valid thought. Seems the others have catched up after Ph.Morris did not seem to give up on using the Ferrari connection.

        1. It seems to me that would be a pretty risky strategy for the teams, but a potentially very lucrative one too. With the track record of those tobacco companies I won’t be too quick to dismiss that idea.

    54. I L O V E I T

    55. Like it or not the livery is not the most important part of the car, it does not make it go faster. And for me the performance of the Williams is what I’m interested in. By the way I don’t think it looks that bad at all. Just hope it goes well.

    56. I like it.

      Am I the only person who REALLY wants to see Marlboro/JPS/Camel/Rothmans/etc etc etc plastered all over F1 cars and circuits again? (Not Winfield though….)

    57. We will all think it’s beautiful if it does well. It’s a better livery than Ferrari!

    58. They appear to have left the lights off; can hardly see the bugger :D

    59. It’s a step in the right direction, but somehow they managed to make the old Rothmans getup rather blah. More teams really oughta get more aggressive with their lines. As it stands now the predictable method is to run something along the sides of the nose and continue it along the sidepod before it makes one dip down or up. Hardly inspiring. Do unexpected things with it! Surprise the eye! We already know the shape of the cars, take it along that shape for a moment, then add some energy to the damn thing. This isn’t a wind tunnel illustration, this is the livery.

    60. I can just imagine the pre event meeting.

      Right chaps, so it’s dark blue and White, so let’s unveil it in a really dark room so you can’t see it properly ;-)

      Unless they forgot to put tokens in the meter.

      I predict they will win a race this year by the way!

    61. I like it, it feels very much like a Williams car

    62. Better livery than they’ve had for years.

      I think the only other I’ve liked since the BMW split was the 2007 colours with the white nose.

    63. It looks nice, from what little I can see. But what’s with the mood lighting? I want to look at it, not make love to it…

    64. honestly i like it….

    65. Now that I’ve seen it on a proper computer and not from my phone, I really like it. Okay, it could be better, but in general they’ve improved on last year’s. And anyway, what with the whole Lotus/Not Lotus/The team Formerly Known As Not Lotus debacle, true retro liveries have been spoiled a bit this year.

    66. ForzaLaScuderia (@)
      24th February 2011, 20:59

      I think its fantastic. The Rothmans livery was always one of my favorites.

    67. Some people can’t be pleased.

    68. I really like it. Don’t know whether its the lighting, but for me it looks just fantastic, possibly my favorite livery this year. Love the stripes, in my view stripes should be compulsory on all racing cars :)
      Also can’t help but admire how dramatic that back end looks, there is nothing there. Amazing where they put the suspension mountings. And the drive shaft at such a steep angle, I have never seen anything like that in a racing car before. Really nice, lets hope the car is competitive.

    69. The only thing that concerns me is the drivers’ helmets not complementing the livery. Might sound odd but that really matters to me in the overall look of an F1 car.

      For example, in 1994, Senna and Hill’s helmets really went well with the livery. Same for Frentzen and Villenueve. Rubens’ design has never really worked with Williams colours for me.

      And I’m also not keen on drivers changing their colours to match the car, like Kovy and Kimi at McLaren. Thank God for Lewis’s yellow lid there. Really pops out from the silver paint.

      Kovy is also doing the right thing with the bright green at Lotus.

      Sorry for that bit of helmet-design OCD! XD

    70. Why was Rubens not at the launch?

      1. It was his 14 th wedding anniversary. Assume he was at home?

    71. Worst launch photos I’ve ever seen. Or more accurately unable to see due to the dim lighting. Why waste everyone’s time for this???

    72. Come one everyone, none of us expected a revelation of artistic brilliance here, it’s Williams after all. That said it is easily their best livery since their days with BMW power, and now as they are poised to be their most competitive since those days, I find the new and rather retro looking livery to be a plus, it is far better than the anonymity of the past several seasons. The elements just may be coming together for a Williams renaissance, just think if they still had Rosberg, he and Rubens in that car would make a mighty formidable midfield team!!

    73. I like it!!! Wanna see it in sunlight though :)

    74. What absolute rubbish photos.
      Note to photographer: Look up “fill lighting” in your photographic manual. You do have a flash with a remote cord, don’t you?

    75. Man.. that look sick! gotta love it :)

    76. and sexy ♥♥♥

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