Alexander Albon, Williams, Silverstone, 2022

First pictures: New Williams FW44 makes its debut on track

2022 F1 season

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Williams’s new FW44 has run on track for the first time ahead of the 2022 F1 season.

The team issued pictures of Nicholas Latifi driving the car at a wet Silverstone.

The new car was due to run shortly after the team presented its livery on a 2022 show car. However the first run was delayed by a minor electronics problem.

Williams is conducting a filming day at the Silverstone circuit, which allows them to cover up to a maximum of 100 kilometres using non-race-specific tyres. Alexander Albon is expected to take over from Latifi later in the day.

Pictures: 2022 Williams FW44 on track

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Images: Williams via Twitter

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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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47 comments on “First pictures: New Williams FW44 makes its debut on track”

  1. Them sidepods look unusual.

    1. I think it is king of ilusion due to how “big” the barge is now.

    2. Makes me wonder how much Mercedes has reduced the cooling requirements for their engine. That’s silly.

      So far, most of the car reveals (Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams) have been Mercedes powered– and they all three have totally different approaches to cooling intakes apparently.

  2. Is it me or does the area behind the sidepod inlets look *really* flat, like extremely flat compared to the other new cars and different to the reveal renders?

    1. Err… Isn’t the Mercedes engine supposed to have a “blister” like the AM did in its launch?

      1. the engine cover looks much fatter than the one on the aston

  3. It’s not just me then. From the angles in the picture, the sidepods look decidedly odd. Very flat?

    It’s quite an odd looking car. I think my least favourite of the real ones so far.

    1. If it will be extra fast, we will quickly forgive everything :)

      I agree with the others, as I like the nose (apart from the bit high height of the front wing), while do not like the the livery too much, and the behind the sidepod seems to be unusually sleeky, at least compared to the previous era.

      Imo if the new aero formula works well, then they could exaggerate it a bit more (here and there, while after achieving success with it the set of the rules could be more lenient at somewhere else). Especially if they will find out how to prescribe simplicity in not too many pages :) (I am naive aero-wise, so I will not come up with ideas, but maybe for example a front wing made up from even less components, with some leniency making up for that). Imo this is what they should do instead of getting satified quickly, if the whole thing at about works. If the cost cap makes it more sane, then what would be the reason to leave the tech rules, intact for many seasons? In the end it is an engineering competiton as well, change should be very much part of it. I mean, to me optimize something for 5-10 years not tastes like F1. Let them invent, and leave the lengthy testing and optimization process for the manufacturers. The world is full of them, and they would do that anyway. There is no need for semi valid arguments, and overly sound adverts, once most of the people will realize that no one says bad things about his or her own product :) (with little exception nowadays). For example Cosworths are still very good engines, not bad ones, just because they have spectacularly blown up in the Stewarts many times. Things should not be so much about the image shown outwards.

      1. But imo Ross Brawn might plans a fairly early retirement, because he realized that his hand are not exactly free, when it is about the further (and was about the already happened) changes.
        I am seeing his retirement plans quite sadly, and I do not know whether there will be a good replacement instead of him.

    2. @phil-f1-21 my guess is its radiator orientation, size and shape.Williams looks to have placed theirs near the front of the side pod in a compact shape where AM looks to have a longer horizontal design. I’m no expert so this is pure speculation but that’s how I read the differences.

      Definitely a bit unusual looking. I’m kinda liking the noise though…

      1. Yes. The nose area is O.K. It seems that AM are more the outliers of the teams so far with what we assume to be their horizontal radiator placement. I like what it does to their car’s appearance though.

  4. Why do you launch the showcar if everybody will see your actual car the very same day anyway? this is getting silly…

    1. Best guess is that it could satisfy a sponsorship requirement to display the car ahead of the launch. Then it might be that either the pre-launch launch was delayed or the on-track launch was moved up.
      The timing of the on-track filming day may be fortuitous as they get to see natures Flow-Vis in action.
      Some side on pics of the car at speed in the rain would be interesting. The effect of the front wing, anti-outwash and the wheel centers could be revealing.

    2. They said they didn’t have time to apply the proper livery to the real car that’s why we got the showcar. The showcar was a sort of a satin matte finish this one is just regular glossy paint.

    3. So they can show off the livery and sponsors from every angle, but from this shakedown they can limit the shots to just a few angles.

  5. It almost looks as if the cooling air is being run along the top of the ground effect tunnels and then vented along the top of the diffuser in amongst the suspension.

  6. Purely visually, that looks really nice. The nosecone is a bit FW14-ish?

    1. And the sidepod reminds me of the 2013 Sauber.

    2. someone or something
      15th February 2022, 16:12

      I was thinking more Jordan 191-ish. But yeah, interesting that we spontaneously felt reminded of the same year.

    3. The nose reminds me of 1990 Williams FW13 much more!

    4. Yes the nose reminded me a bit of FW13 too! Really good looking, and livery fit well with rain tires! What’s great is that we are seeing interesting differences in design concepts until now. No need to worry about “spec series F1” that was lauded when the aero restrictions came in. Exciting times ahead, let’s hope no team find a silver bullet solution with new regs to have a great championship.

      1. The livery reminds me so much of the 94 Simtek car. Put the old MTV logo on and give it larger sidepods and it would really feel like a modern interpretation of that tragic car.

    5. I like the livery but is the dark blue not too much to the purple side of blue? (I mean the picture on the track compaired to the one in the box)
      I think it’s the lighting effect of designing something on screen forgetting how it will look in daylight…

      1. ok i have seen it in real it’s purpish certain not dark blue!

  7. someone or something
    15th February 2022, 16:08

    I’m really starting to like the way the new cars look. I like the raised noses, they remind me of early 90s cars. And the engine covers without shark fins look rather appealing as well. It doesn’t hurt that the Williams’ paint scheme doesn’t look like a toothpaste tube ripoff for once.

    1. Cars definitely look better.

  8. On track, it looks sexy, despite the livery. Maybe they should’ve taken more advantage of the red bits.

  9. That’s literally a mid 90s Reynard Champcar.

  10. Wow that looks… different? Need to see some more angles of the sidepods but that pretty much kills off the idea that all of the cars are going to look the same this year!

  11. Quite a distinctive shape, and the blue looks smart – it’ll make up for Alpine turning pink if they go through with that. And that’s a proper Williams ‘6’, looks like they’ve found some of Patrese or Piquet’s old stickers in a drawer somewhere…

  12. I’m not sure if it’s just the”configuration” they are running, but the wings look quite low downforce compared to the other reveals we’ve seen so far.

    It appears sidepods will go 1 of 2 ways this season, either really long with an undercut running all the way under them, or super tightly packaged that cut downwards very early

  13. The curvature of the nose really brings to mind the early nineties Williams. Is it just me?

  14. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    15th February 2022, 18:09

    Not sure if it’s the angle or whether they on track version is significantly different to the launch car but I’m loving “The Mallard” look with those sleek side pods and lines in the second pic.

  15. The front-end reminds me of IndyCar

  16. Anybody seen any video footage yet?
    It would be very interesting to see how the rooster tail forms at the back of the car under these new regulations.

  17. Wow, we haven’t seen such a nose cone since 1995! Other than that the car is the worst looking so far.

    1. We need more photos of the on-track version because it does, from this angle, look quite different to the one in the original pictures Williams released. I am not a fan of it at the moment I must admit. I really don’t like it at all.

      1. @phil-f1-21
        Williams first presented its new livery using the generic F1 car model, and so those are the first pictures of their actual car. But yeah, we need more pictures. But I can already tell the nose will good/bad depeding on the angle.

  18. I happy that thus far there seems to be a diversity of aero and chassis concepts under the new rules. And the differences are visually obvious. I feared that we would get 22 copies of that awful FIA show chassis.

  19. I’m usually pretty silent on these forums when it comes to pre-season hype, but I think these new cars looks spectacular, and some of the liveries equally so. I’m really, really excited for the new season and seeing these cars take to the track in anger. I thought I’d wait to see what this Williams livery looked like on track as the launch images were a bit underwhelming, but wow, what a great colour. Brilliant stuff – looking forward to seeing what the other teams have come up with! Silhouettes are far more aesthetically pleasing than the FIA show car’s.

    1. For me, this is the most beautiful 2022 F1 car revealed till now, followed by the Aston Martin. Am waiting to see how the new Alpine will look like since it’s already French racing blue but not has BWT as its title sponsor. So will there be pink?

  20. The best looking of the bunch so far. That’s nose reminds me a lot of the FW14. Pity they couldn’t find room for a Senna S on it though

  21. Although I think the livery is a little underwhelming, I’m glad to see a more classic Williams blue. The nose area is great looking – but as others have said, the side pods look a little odd. It does seem as though williams are not wanting to show the back of the car at the moment – I wonder if they have a trick or two up their sleeves. I’m really hoping for a decent, regular point-scorer in this car.

    I think generally the cars this year look fantastic – the whole package seems to just flow really nicely from front to back. They look fast! Can’t wait for testing.

  22. that is so early 90s it’s amazing how beautiful it is, didn’t expect to say this myself of these new cars

  23. Looks like a 91 mclaren. Congrats on making f1 return to the early 90s. F1 is enamored in making late 80s and early 90s all over again. Rose tinted memories.

    1. Makes me wonder if Alain Prost has joined Williams as advisor :D

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