Williams FW41, 2018

Williams reveals “significantly different” F1 car for 2018

2018 F1 season

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Williams has revealed the first images of its FW41 car for the 2018 F1 season.

The team said the car looks “significantly different” to last year’s model, which took it to fifth in the constructors’ championship. It has been designed by chief technical officer Paddy Lowe and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer.

Lowe said the car “has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance.”

“All Formula One cars are an evolution of what has gone before to some extent, but the FW41 does involve a number of departures from the directions that have been pursued in the past. Overall, the philosophy we are starting to see emerge is a new approach to the collaboration between aerodynamics and design to achieve the optimum working result.”

The FW41 features “radical changes to the car’s packaging” in order to accommodate its new Mercedes power unit, Lowe added. “We hope that this car will make progress in the performance rankings relative to 2017.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams described the team’s line-up of second-year driver Lance Stroll and rookie Sergey Sirotkin as “exciting”. Robert Kubica has also joined the team as a reserve driver.

It’s also my pleasure to welcome Sergey and Robert to Williams, who have both displayed exceptional speed and qualities that I know will only strengthen the team,” said Williams. “Sergey has impressed the technical team and it is great for us to be able to give him the opportunity to step up into a race seat. Robert, will also be working closely with the team, utilising his experience to help develop the car throughout the season.”

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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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55 comments on “Williams reveals “significantly different” F1 car for 2018”

  1. That looks very stretched out…

    1. To me it looks like last years Merc, and to a certain extent closer to what SFI have been doing.

  2. No livery change, & not that huge change, car wise, we expected from Williams.
    There are some new stuff(new nose familiar to the one F.I used) & the car has an aggressiver look,but based on that they were saying,i expected much more from the team.

    1. These comments always bemuse me when there are stable regulations, do some people expect a team to throw away last years design and start from scratch every year (somewhat like Hondas engine development model which went so well for them?). All we have so far are a few not very detailed pictures without a side by side comparison – just because its got the same colour scheme (strangely because the title sponsor hasn’t suddenly changed their colours?) then it is instantly judged as not a big change – in formula one and engineering in general, lots of small changes can often add up to something good and ditching everything thats gone before can put you in danger of a step backwards and at the end of the day they have pretty much the same constraints as last year so looking similar is par for the course. The other thing to take into account is the potential that the launch bodywork isn’t the same as that which will appear at the first test as many teams want to keep secrets as long as possible.

      1. When a team does say a lot, then yes i’ll wait for something totally different.
        Its the first time in the V6 era that Williams will go for a non low drag car philosophy, so i was hoping for something “eye catchy”.
        They might change the chassis in the preseason testing,but at least they could use a different colour for their car…Having a dark blue with the Martini sponsporship would have been a welcome change after 4 years with the same white livery.

        1. Darren Brittain
          16th February 2018, 1:42

          Miltiadis, havent mercedes had the same colour scheme for the same time frame? ferrari too i believe. in fact, rbr and haas (and fi it has to be said) are the main livery changing teams

          1. All of them did some small changes that gave an “excitement factor” Williams has had the exact same livery since 2014, while they could add some blue (as they have done in the past)…Perhaps at the wings

        2. You obviously do not know much about aerodynamics… A car can have a very different design philosophy but look reasonably similar to a previous design. Lots of small changes can have big effects in terms of performance but have very little effect in looks. Not sure what you think they should have done with the paint scheme? They are sponsored by Martini. The car is in Martini colours… Perhaps you think Ferrari should change to green?

          1. Well,i was reffering specificly to the Williams cars,which since 2015 looked the same & their performance was mediocre.As for the colour,its pretty easy to add some blue to the car(front-rear wing) & break the white.

          2. They have added black…

            Also sponsors like the main sponsorship areas to be the sponsors colours. Williams are not totally responsible for the markings on the car. Martinis marketing dept will have quite a lot of sway.

  3. Williams released these images??

  4. That is one awesome looking car

    1. It’s got some nice features from other cars and it’s elongated. The black parts are beautifully aggressive and make it look fast. I like it.

      1. Replying to your comment made me comment here, because I went and tried reading it. :)

  5. looks like the low drag concept has totally bitten the dust. last few cars have look years behind the others aero wise. i think the 2017 ferrari sidepods are going to be turning up everywhere too. lots of interesting features being hidden in the black that wont really be obvious until we get a better look. its february so as a williams fan its time to be optimistic again…at least for a week or two

    1. i think the 2017 ferrari sidepods are going to be turning up everywhere too

      @guitargraham I too was wondering how many teams would try to adopt that sidepod philosophy, the fact that 2 teams that finished mid to low table in constructors championship have them suggests that it will be commonly adopted. I wonder what the original innovators, Ferrari have come up with

  6. Michael Brown (@)
    15th February 2018, 19:32

    “The Halo will be integrated into the chassis.”
    *Paints it white*

    1. @mbr-9 well, the chassis is white. I think that’s the best we can expect given that making it look good is a turd polishing exercise

  7. The best looking car so far. The most noticeable difference to FW40 is the front-end.

    1. Only Haas has revealed their car yet. :P

      That is how people go on as each car is unveiled. Many applauded the Sauber and Torro Rosso livery last year and spanked SFI. By the end of the year, SFI stood out miles ahead on the livery. Design subjectivitiy will evolve as the season progresses, and chances are that majority of us won’t side with the same livery we spoke highly off during the launch.

  8. The black is slimming… but the white makes the halo look really fat! ;)

    1. @mtlracer ”but the white makes the halo look really fat!” – How so?

  9. Hmm, it’s really hard to see much from the images ( obviously they’ve done that on purpose ) but the side pod design looks really interesting.

  10. I have a feeling majority of cars this year would adopt/copy Ferrari’s aerodynamic philosophy of last year.

    Last year Ferrari had some genius design ideas on their car but unfortunately they messed up (unreliability and driver error) and lost at least one title. This year majority of cars will copy their design ideas especially sidepods.
    Would be interesting to see what Mercedes comes up with as majority teams are looking likely to go Ferrari’s route. Also all this copying proves what a great car Ferrari had last year.

    1. I think Ferrari will develop even more on last year’s car and i think its going to be very radical

  11. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    15th February 2018, 19:40

    It’s almost like they made the images bad quality to annoy the fans. I can’t tell much from that, apart from the halo, shark fin and the fact that it is very looooooong (or so the bad quality images makes me think so).

    PS. Wasn’t there sopposed to be a show in London.

  12. Obviously , all the important bits are in the black , which they want nobody to see , in this incredibly useless photo !!!!!!

  13. Ferrari must feel good that after many years teams of copying their designs rather then Ferrari taking other peoples ideas. I have a feeling we will see alot of side pods like this

    1. Ferrari must feel good that after many years other teams are copying their designs***

  14. A non-distorted picture and video:

    Guys, what do you think about those 2018 semi-shark fins????
    I think they are a perfect compromise between having and not having shark fins. They don’t seem to offer any less ad space than what you’d need them to and look so much better than full shark fins. No?

    1. Watching the 360-degree view in that video (after 1:05) I spot some interesting black bits in front of the side pods. It’s difficult to see but it looks like there’s something going on.

    2. It looks like DW12 Honda’s engine cover.

  15. Really like it. I am shocked that so far halo looks really good to me, I find thumb noses to be the worst common aesthetic.

  16. The car looks good, and I know people are tired of saying this by now; but…… the livery is so damn disappointing.

  17. Really don’t like the black bits of the livery, but I wonder if that’s just for the launch to obscure features for another week or two.

  18. The proof of how good the car is will only be proved when it is raced against the other teams cars so it is pointless just looking at it and saying it looks a good car.

  19. I quite like it. I was totally underwhelmed by the Haas yesterday but this is a little more like it. Not bowled over but don’t expect to be with stable regs and repetition of liveries. Looks like they have been quite aggressive though and fundamentally changed the concept of the car to something more along the lines of Force India.

  20. Lewisham Milton
    15th February 2018, 22:13

    We’ve never seen a car without a fin (and probably won’t, unless the bickering prat-perchers stop blocking rule changes). What is this one advertising that a better-looking finless car wouldn’t?

    That halo needs Martini stripes on it!

    1. Lewisham Milton: shark fins are aerodynamic, and make the cars faster. People should leave looks out of this.

  21. I think keep the Halo’s black would look better. Aesthetically its a million times better than the Haas.

  22. Sideview of the FW41 looks sharp. Halo almost like a window in appearance and white gets high marks. Eager to see the others ideas.

    1. I think Haas should consider painting their Halo white as well, since their car does have a white top anyway, so it won’t (in my opinion) look out of place.

  23. Another beautiful car.

  24. Beautiful car, Williams good luck !!!

  25. Exactly what I expected, more or less. The safest thing low could do is copy what Mercedes did and evolve it. I expect them to be within 2 tenths if whatever the other front runners do if not faster. This is exactly what they should have done. They should have a stable performances through out the season because it’s a”familiar” design.

  26. Wow! Amazing! Looks like a car!

    Serious note – i like the weird look halo gives to this car.

  27. I hope i´m wrong but after 2 cars revealed, i think it´s safe to say taht “incorporating the halo into the design of the car” just didn´t happen. they could have bolted the ugly thing on mid season last year. i declare it an aesthetic disatster…

  28. Looks like they took the pics with the same phone they used for their last win though.

    Deliberately poor focus shot of rear suggests some interesting mods may be there but really these publicity launches don’t ever show us the car they are going to go racing with.

    Still too shark finny but halleluiah no coat hanger. The f1 engine cover is a thing of beauty, the one element you can say definitely has some style. You want kids to follow the sport, show them something they go wow at not eugh at.

    Front wings are ridiculous, they’d wash out following a bumble bee. Why is f1 so intractable, no, actually, down right
    p!gheaded about rules that benefit no-one. AGHHH. makes me want to shout but now we cant hear f1 cars, we can I suppose just talk quietly about it

  29. Imagine how good it would look without the half sharkfin and halo. I really like the looks of this car.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      16th February 2018, 12:24

      You don’t have to imagine! :D

      Without Sharkfin and halo:

      Without halo:

      1. Respect!!!

      2. That’s more like it. Shoehorn in a v12 and Roberta’s your aunt

  30. The halo devastates the car’s beautiful lines especially without the Sharkfin. It’s like adding a Domino’s pizza sign on top of an Audi A7 – it pretty much undoes all the beauty of the sloping roofline.

  31. Just curious is the halo removable? Meaning does it move out of the way to allow the driver to get in the car.

    Looking at this car it’s going to be difficult to get in and out of that car. Unless the halo is removable which I seriously doubt, if a driver is injured, he may not be able to climb out quickly enough and the medical staff will have a very hard time lifting him out of the car as they need to do at a very strange angle towards the top and the back. If that’s the case, they can’t rely on current marshalls. Most marshalls will need to be tall to extremely tall (1.9-2 meters tall) and be able to lift 200 pounds at shoulder level with a bad grip on the weight as it’s much harder to lift a person compared to a weight with a handle or a bar – to get a driver out.

    They’ll have to come up with crazy protocols to extract drivers safely, if it’s even possible with a fixed halo. Otherwise they risk trapping drivers in the car. You can’t even break the darn thing:-)

    Also if the driver is badly injured, I’m not sure they will survive a near vertical extraction from the car.

    It can’t be to be strong enough to withstand the impacts

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