Williams Martini Racing has secured itself some useful publicity as it prepares for its fortieth year in Formula 1 by leaking pictures of its 2017 chassis design, the FW40, ahead of the car’s official unveiling next week.
The Grove squad has abandoned its sequential chassis naming convention to christen this car the FW40 in deference to the team’s historic milestone year.
The car is the first of the 2017 challengers designed to the sport’s new technical regulations to be unveiled so far.
In line with the new regulations, the FW40 – albeit only showcased in computer rendered form which is understandably lacking much of the finer details the actual car will feature – carries many of the hallmark characteristics expected to feature on this year’s cars.
Those characteristics include deltoid shaping on the front wing, leading edge of the floor and the rear wing. The front and rear wings are also wider to cater for the wider Pirelli tyres the teams will run in 2017.
The car features the ‘thumb nose’ design features on its predecessor designs, which will help to guide airflow from the underside of the nose to its upper surface via a clearly visible ‘S’ duct.
The sidepods appear to be very tightly sculpted so as to direct air flow and reduce drag. Cooling appears to be extended all the way to the rear of the car, while the engine cover sports a ‘shark fin’ that helps stabilise yaw in high-speed cornering.
The car – which will be piloted by Felipe Massa and rookie teammate Lance Stroll – features a virtually unchanged white, red and blue livery in deference to title sponsor Martini. The only noticeable sponsor change is the departure of the Finnish industry and trade conglomerate, Wihuri, which moved with Valtteri Bottas when he joined Mercedes in the off-season to replace Nico Rosberg.
Image and video via Williams Martini Racing