Bruno Senna, Pastor Maldonado, Williams FW34, Jerez, Spain, 2012

Williams FW34 launch: First pictures of their 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars

Posted on

| Written by

The Williams-Renault FW34 has been revealed for the first time at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

After a very poor 2011, in which the team scored just five points and finished ninth in the world championship, Williams are hoping for a changes in fortunes in 2012.

The team have switched engine suppliers from Cosworth to Renault and Bruno Senna joins the team in place of Rubens Barrichello. Pastor Maldonado remains at Williams for a second season.

Team principal Frank Williams said: “One could say that looking at the Williams F1 Team today we are off to a truly fresh start. We have a new car, new driver line up, new engine and new senior personnel.

“We also have a number of new partners who have joined the team in the past few months. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome them formally and sincerely wish that they have an enjoyable and, most importantly, a valuable experience with us. The team has had a good winter at the factory and we feel ready and strong for the fight.”

Williams FW34 pictures

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

68 comments on “Williams FW34 launch: First pictures of their 2012 F1 car”

  1. Looking good. Question is: is it fast?

    1. Hard to tell with just one photo, but is the ‘step’ itself curved?
      The name Williams Renault, please be at least fighting at the front of the midfield.

      1. Similar step nose to Ferrari?

        1. They are probably the closest match. However, from these pictures I’d say the Williams one is a tiny bit smoother and more rounded towards the front.

        2. @ivz Looks like it. Doesn’t seem to have gone through the wind tunnel, though i’m sure it has.

      2. Hope so but how likely with such a relatively inexperienced driver line up ? When was the last time they had a pair of such relatively inexperienced drivers ?

    2. The nose step looks rather ‘blunt’ almost as though the chassis was designed high and then somebody point out the nose had to be a lot lower so they bolted on something with a steeper looking drop than most of the other teams.

  2. Tom (@tomforpresident)
    7th February 2012, 7:44

    looks like they have managed to keep their tiny gear box with the new engine. will need to see more closely to know for sure though.

  3. Williams testing liveries always end up being better than their race liveries, stick with this please Williams!!

    The car looks pretty good actually. Maybe it’s just the dark paint…:)

    1. Oh @geemac, I love it as well, but I don’t see why they changed their retro livery when they have signed Senna. Maybe they wish to forget the past, and I’d understand that, but to have a retro helmet and livery together would be amazing.

      1. Yeah, retro helmet, retro livery, retro manufacturer/engine combo!

        1. yeah that currently above is the worst livery on the grid so far, hopefully its just a testing one.

    2. I had wished for a proper retro livery….going back closer to one of the old Williams Renault designs which were always superb. Randstad and Embratel both use lighter blues, closer to the old Rothmans blue than the dark blue on the car. If only they had used that blue and a yellow outline of the embratel logo so it resembled the FW16-19. I guess they were never going to do that, even though those old designs were classic

  4. Might be just the paintjob, but the side-pods turn down REALLY early.

    1. @dennis Looks like they’ve decided to stick with the ‘tight rear end’.

      1. @AndrewTanner

        Yes, but the sidepods not only seem to curve in towards the center of the car a lot, they are also really short.

    2. Most of the teams have just followed up on Newey’s design from last year….large undercuts for the sidepod intakes, with the intakes themselves being as small as technically possible for cooling. I think the size of the intakes immediately gives away how good the cooling is in smaller being better and less compromise for the aero around to the back of the car. William’s seems not so good. The rest of the rear follows Neweys pull rod rear suspension to get that pronounced coke bottle tight rear end and maximise clean airflow over the rear

  5. Williams Renault sounds a good combination , midfield contenders and might surprise Lotus Renault.
    P.S. is that the Senna logo on front wings again.
    Scary very scary for Bruno and family.
    Best of luck

    1. If you mean right on the tip of the nose, then no, that’s the Williams F1 logo.

      As an aside, Williams have carried the Senna ‘S’ on every livery since his death. It’s on the front wing somewhere.

    2. Yeah, @optimaximal is right. The “Senna S” has been on the nose of every Williams since 1995.

    3. Senna, Williams-Renault

      Please god may there never be another San Marino Grand Prix.

  6. Ryan Williams (@)
    7th February 2012, 7:57

    Another pretty car from Williams. The stepped nose is ugly, but that’s to be expected, and the rest of the car is fantastic to look at. The paint scheme is one of the best of this year in my opinion, especially the blue and white stripes on the air box & engine cover.

    I really hope Williams find some pace this year. It would be great to see a Williams Renault driven by Senna towards the sharper end of the grid this year

  7. OK, that is seriously gorgeous. Even better than last year’s car! Best livery Williams have had in ages. I really hope this car marks a turn in their fortunes. They’ve got the money, the engine, and hopefully they’ll have two good drivers next year.

    1. @damonsmedley
      After seeing last year’s car I was expecting them to do way better than they did.
      This year, due to the loss of EBDs I think the superflat rear end could actually work. The change to Renault might help as well.

      Maybe Senna and Maldonado get their stuff together.

    1. @keithcollantine
      I like car presentations so early in the day.
      Much easier and faster to check out the pics when there aren’t 200 million people trying the same thing at the same time. :P

  8. Very tiny engine cover. Interesting. I hope it would be competitive.

    1. US Williams Fan
      8th February 2012, 4:58

      I thought the same thing. I am both hopeful and optimistic about it! fingers crossed!

  9. Loving the livery, & the Williams-Renault combination just seems right. I don’t think there are any true F1 fans who don’t wish this team well this year.

  10. The car doesn’t look too bad and no surprises there. Their racing overalls is a bit too dull

  11. Only two blades on the front wing? A retrograde step from Gillette, I feel.

    1. :) You’d think they’d at least paint them silver.

  12. This may be a dumb question but what are the circles for just behind the roll hoop? You can see one on both sides infront of the renault graphic.

    1. I believe it’s the exterior engine cut off switch. All the cars have to have them.

      You can see McLaren’s one in this pic (the wee red toggle):

      Ferarri’s one is easier to spot in this pic:

      1. Ok that makes sense now thanks! I thought it was some bizare exaust arangement at first.

  13. Williams’s liveries are always among the best, i hope this year they’re competitive too…

  14. From the branding on the car, Bruno Senna didn’t bring that much money, did he? No wonder they were going for Adrian Sutil initially.

    Also, it’s pretty clear why Williams went with two pay drivers – they have one, maybe two sponsors of their own. Which I would classify as worrisome for any team, but for a publicly traded company this is scary stuff.

    1. it’s pretty clear why Williams went with two pay drivers – they have one, maybe two sponsors of their own.

      Someone needs to speak to PDVSA, Embratel and Gilette – they’re clearly not getting their money’s worth.

      1. PDVSA takes much more money than Bruno’ sponsors put together. Chavez uses people of Venezuela’ s money to support a racing driver in the most capitalist of sports.

        At least Embratel, Gilette and OGX are private companies that support Bruno because they believe in his talent. They don’ t use money from brazilian people, as far as I know.

  15. Loving the colours….and the grooming theme – Gillette & Head & Shoulders! Pantene as main sponsor? If they pay enough, Williams may consider themselves worth it…

    1. Ver, very clever and witty but where do williams go from last season, it will still feel strange if they are racing the torro rossos and the midfield, surely there aim has to be to beat in Findia, Sauber and Torro Rosso otherwis I can not see the decline ending.

  16. I hate to disappoint, but Williams traditionally run a stripped-down version of their livery in testing.

    More than likely we’ll see more white added to the paint scheme, just like last year and in recent years.

    Looks like a nice package. Still maintained the tight rear.

    1. The overalls are mainly blue though, where previously they have been white. And the testing liveries of previous years were just one colour without any actual design. I’d be very suprised if this isn’t the livery that will be seen in the races.

      Lets hope their super-low gearbox works more often this year.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        7th February 2012, 17:10

        It’s definately 100% a test livery. I emailed Williams to ask.

  17. Livery does look nice, but starting to look a bit bare of sponsors like Sauber, with the loss of AT&T.

  18. Ugly, ugly car, certainly not helped by the paint job; all they had to do was change the nose to the dark blue, but this just looks like they got last year’s car and run out of paint. The drivers’ overalls look like baby-gros. Conjures up images of failed backmarkers of days gone by with weird cars and eyesore liveries.

  19. Love the raw look of that gearbox

  20. The livery looks great, the car is not bad (will any 2012 car look good with that horrible nose?)…

    Oh my god, the driver line-up is scary… is this really Williams? Prost, Mansell, Piquet, Rosberg, Hill, Villeneuve, Jones… Maldonado and B. Senna?!

    1. Scary is your comment. Do you know Damon Hill took 10 years to get to F1 and Bruno Senna just 4? Do you know Hill never won a single race in F3000 while B. Senna won 3 in GP2 and was second in the championship? Do you really know Maldonado was GP2 champion in 2010?

      Let’s be honest. B. Senna was much better in junior categories than Damon Hill and deserved more to be in Brawn in 2009 than Hill deserved to be in Williams in 1993. With a winning car B. Senna would surely do better than Hill also in F1.

  21. I like the livery, looks angry. Hope they keep it.

    They couldn’t even line the tyres up correctly for Pirelli’s benefit and exposure. Hope that isn’t a sign of things to come!

  22. Shoot me guys, but I find the ugliest of the pack. And the colors make it even worse. As with Lotus the dark livery looks nice, here it just makes the car look um… unimpressive, flat and slow (I know one cannot judge speed by the looks but still..)

    1. You’d probably like it better if you had two eyes :)

  23. The final image at a glance reminds me of the 1997 cars.

    Also, seeing the C31 out on track yesterday reminded me of them, too.

    ’97 cars were definitely alot nicer, though.

  24. I dont know… personally to me this looks like exactly what it is – a car designed on a budget. The level of detail all over the car looks far less than what wome of he top teams have come up with. This is, of course, my uneducated opinion based on pictures of the outside, but I cant help but fear for the season ahead.

  25. So, it now seems as though the McLaren will be the only car WITHOUT a stepped nose and WITH square side pod intakes rather than triangular ones.

    Is this because they are better than everyone else, or worse?

    Or will we see a different car in Melbourne (as Martin Whitmarsh said) than to the one they launched

    1. Personally, I wonder why the teams even bother with a launch these days.

      They’re clearly not going to give everyone in the world high-res photos of the actual “Race 1” front wing, rear diffuser, floor, rear wing, etc etc. Basically the only thing you learn from the launches is “yes, it’s got a stepped nose” and what colour it is.

    2. To be fair Whitmarsh said that basically everyone will have a different car but anyway those basic things probably won’t change. He was talking more about exhaust, diffusers and wings. I expect Mclaren will still have the same nose and side-pods we see now come racing day.

  26. I’m surprised that they kept the dark blue livery, as wasn’t that due to RBS being their main sponsor? I much prefer the royal blue/white/yellow of the 90’s era cars.

  27. Williams, I love ya… but that is one of the ugliest nose steps yet :/

    I have to be honest. These photos fill me with a more anxious feeling about this season than one of hope. I like Bruno a lot and I hope for the best for him, but there’s just something about looking at these pictures that make me feel off…

  28. The more I look at this car the more it seems to have potential.

    The sidepods are tight and have a fair amount of undercut before tapering out very quickly (assumably because of their gearbox), they’re front brake ducts seem almost non existant and can anybody else figure out how exactly the front wing is attached? Its barely touching the struts!

  29. Never mind the livery. the old saying is that if it looks fast then it probably is.
    They are all plug ugly.
    Yet more tampering with what should be the most
    beautiful and efficient cars in the world.

  30. petebaldwin (@)
    7th February 2012, 17:13

    The livery is a test livery. I emailled Williams and to my suprise, got a response!

    Dear Peter

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    The livery of the FW34 as revealed today is a test livery. The final livery will be revealed shortly before the start of the season.

    We do hope the new car will perform well and many thanks indeed for your kind comments, they are very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    The Business Support Team
    WilliamsF1 Security – Ext 4399

    1. That’s a shame, because I really, really like that livery! But then again, their 2011 livery was pretty neat, too.

      1. On the plus side, perhaps they will actually give their sponsors some recognition. I know, a lot depends on how much the companies are actually paying the team, but with talk that PDVSA is spending $40 million in sposnorship, one would expect that they would get more coverage than they do now. There are huge blank spaces between the sidepod and the front wheel and on the rear wing, and if the team got rid of the large number in the circle, they would have plenty of space in the sidepod. Sauber are also guilty of having these excessively-large empty spaces. It’s prime real estate for sponsors, and although Williams probably need as much money as they can get, their 2011 results mean that potential sponsors could probably get a whole lot of coverage for a cheaper price than with any other team.

  31. Stephen Higgins
    7th February 2012, 19:03

    Worst step-nose so far.


  32. The driver’s overalls are so poorly done. It looks like they’ve ironed on half the logos. Strange decision, looks more akin to a karting team. Personally I don’t think the car looks that great either (in terms of what I predict for its performance).

    Best livery as ever though.

Comments are closed.