Williams has become the first team to showcase its 2014 design - from the front...

Williams has become the latest team to try and gazump its rivals in the launch game, today publishing rendered images of its 2014 challenger, the FW36, in its test livery.

Following on from Force India’s side-on-only unveiling of its 2014 livery yesterday, Williams went a step further with several angles of its car. The result is not pretty…

Perhaps we were all trying to bluff ourselves into thinking that the new technical regulations may produce more interesting designs, but what’s certainly clear – assuming the FW36 is a useful barometer here – is that this year’s cars aren’t going to be competing for any awards in the aesthetic stakes.

The wording of the 2014 technical regulations are to blame for what will probably be a spate of rather ugly-looking cars. The regulations were changed for 2014, requiring the nose section’s crash structure to be placed lower, but this was done without a change to where the drivers’ feet had to be placed.

In turn, this has led to a ‘proboscis’ nose design that gives the best possible aerodynamic benefit while still complying to the letter (if perhaps not the desired intent) of the rulebook.

Outside of the rather unsightly front end, the FW36 sports tighter sidepods than its predecessor, as well as the mandatory central tailpipe section – a new feature of this year’s rules, which ban exhaust-blown gases being transmitted through the rear duffiser. The rear wing has also had extensive modification, with lower ‘beam’ wins and centrally-mounted supports also outlawed.

Our sources tell us that worse is still to come, but we will have to find out when the actual launch ceremonies kick off tomorrow and run for the next week until pre-season testing starts.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.