Williams announces earliest 2018 car launch date yet

2018 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Williams is leading the race to be first to unveil its 2018 F1 car which is due to break cover in less than three weeks’ time.

The FW41 will be uncovered at an event in London on February 15th, the team has confirmed. This is a week before the earliest launch announced so far: Ferrari and Mercedes are due to uncover their 2018 racers on February 22nd.

Williams was the last team to confirm its driver line-up for the new season. Rookie Sergey Sirotkin has joined Lance Stroll at the squad.

The FW41 will be the first car the team has produced since Paddy Lowe arrived as chief technical officer last year.

Get all the 2018 F1 race, test and launch dates on your mobile device using the F1 Fanatic Calendar

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

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.

19 comments on “Williams announces earliest 2018 car launch date yet”

  1. Williams only chance to be in first place this year ;)

  2. Well – at least they’ll be first once this season.

    1. They need some press that isnt 100% about paydrivers so better get some fresh livery out there.

  3. Can’t wait for their striking, innovative new livery! ;)

  4. Let the games begin…

    This time of year I find myself thinking about the next generation of Grand Prix Car. Which Car overall will look best? How about the most striking paint job? Best livery? Most Radical approach? Team whose Car went ugly? And on and on. As season two begins with last years radically new chassis now in the 2018 spec l wonder how many cars will be carry overs or who will tweek it in some way and gain advantage. Anyway Williams gives me a gift now as the reveal happens on my Birthday. Fans eagerly look forward to this time of the year when the launches begin. So Williams leaps first into the pond and which team will end up having thier launch during Q1 in Melbourne? But thats Formula One isnt it?

  5. Will they show the car with or without the halo at the launch date, that is the question !

    1. with the halo of course
      but it will be a render most likely, as it was last year, where, if my memory serves me right, they were the first ones too (if we don’t count Manor of course)

  6. I don’t think launches count for much these days as the car launched very rarely resembles the car that turns up for testing or for race1.

    Pretty much it’s a “here’s our paint job for this year” & here’s our sponsors moment more than anything else.

    The fact that Williams is first is interesting though. I’m wondering if it’s an indication that they started their 2018 project really early last year having realised their 2017 effort was a lost cause, or whether it’s an indication that nothing much has changed.

    1. The irony is that Laurence Stroll pays Williams twice as much money as Williams’ title sponsor.

      1. Not sure what is ironic about that, but what I would find ironic is that if the Williams was plastered with a Tommy Hilfiger schemed livery you’d have no issue with the team or it’s driver choice as they would have drivers who ‘brought sponsorship’ rather than paid to be there. But for a few sponsor stickers you’d not feel the ‘shame’ you said the other day that you have zero interest in the team or it’s drivers about whom you continue to comment…ironically.

    2. @dbradock
      The general proportions are usually apparent though, although I don’t expect much to change this year with the stable regs. It will be interesting to see what Merc’s wheelbase is like this year for instance.

      1. True, although as you say, it’s likely that not a great deal will change other than Merc may elect for a different wheelbase. Things like rake etc are not necessarily so apparent though.

    3. @dbradock, it depends on the circumstances – if the team is sending the car out on a shakedown, as was the case with outfits such as Force India or Mercedes in the past, then usually the car that is sent out on that shakedown isn’t too far removed from the ones which are sent out in testing or the opening races.

      Quite a few teams, such as Toro Rosso, have often not even bothered with a formal launch event and tended to present their car in the pit lane at the circuit itself, either on the evening before the first test or in the morning before the first test session starts.

  7. Financial position secured regardless of performance so why bother spending more time and money on designing the car!

    1. Kringle
      So sad, for a team with the historic reputation of Williams, but so true.

  8. Number 19? Homage or faux pas?

    1. Just realized it’s last year’s car. Duh.

  9. This, following rummors that they failed crash test and will miss first test?

    In any case I can hardly wait.

    1. @jureo, whilst it is rumoured that they did fail a crash test, the article that discussed it (the Italian branch of the Motorsport Network) stated that test took place before Christmas. If that is correct, then the latest that they could have taken place is the 22nd December – the last working day before Christmas – which is more than a month ago.

      Now, the first test is not due to start until the 26th Feb – even allowing for the fact that there would be some time lost due to Christmas and allowing for the fact that the team probably would want a bit of time between retesting the car and sending it out to Barcelona, it indicates that they would have had about two months, and perhaps slightly more, to rectify that fault.

      Now, teams have failed to pass their crash tests even later in the year and still made it to the first test – for example, back in 2016 Ferrari, according to the Italian press, failed the front impact test multiple times (Omnicourse confirmed that Ferrari had at least two tests, but implied that they had to have more than that, before passing) and only managed to homologate their chassis by late January.

      OK, it’s true that Ferrari do have substantially more resources, but their failure came about a month later and they still made it to pre-season testing. With about two months to rectify whatever fault occurred during that crash test, it would need to be a fairly critical issue if the team were going to miss the first test because of it – and if that were the case, then frankly I’d be pretty worried about the team if the chassis was that fundamentally flawed.

Comments are closed.