AT&T Williams launched its new race car, the Williams-Toyota FW29, for the 2007 season Formula One World Championship at the team’s headquarters near Oxford.
In addition to unveiling the team’s new race car, livery and racing identity with its new title partner AT&T, the team also confirmed a major new sponsorship agreement with Lenovo, a global leader in the international PC market. This announcement consolidates a strong winter of sponsorship activity for the team.
Reflecting on all elements of the day’s announcements, Team Principal Frank Williams said, “Without question, 2006 was not our finest year but I am delighted to see how the entire Williams workforce has pulled together and redoubled its efforts over the winter. It is how you perform in adversity that really counts. We begin this year with a completely new brand identity courtesy of our new partners AT&T, four new or upgraded sponsors including Lenovo, a wealth of new engineering talent and, of course, what we hope to be the focus of all these efforts and ambitions, the FW29.”
Technical Director Sam Michael explained, “The FW29 continues the design philosophy of the FW28 with a zero keel configuration. The other notable elements of the design include another step in the undercut of the sidepod leading edge (with top louvres for cooling), improved engine and exhaust packaging to address the reliability issues experienced in 2006 and a lower and narrower top deck for improved aerodynamic efficiency. The other prominent differences from the FW28 include large chimneys expressly for cooling at the season’s first three races and a narrower engine cover spine. At the rear of the car, a twin pillar configuration supports a lighter and lower drag rear wing, now featuring FIA-mandatory slot gap separators to prevent deflection and a lower and wider rear impact structure as required by regulation.”
The FW29 passed all mandatory FIA static and dynamic tests and features some of the new regulation safety elements such as Zylon-enhanced side impact structures to protect the driver by virtue of enhanced penetration resistance. From a driver perspective, Nico Rosberg moves forward from his rookie season having gained a year of invaluable experience. “The experience from last year is going to help me significantly this season. The F1 environment is completely unique and I have learnt how to handle all of its various elements now. In the past weeks everyone in the team has been very positive and put great effort into the new car, so I think we can be optimistic about a much improved season ahead of us.”
With the advent of a new title partnership relationship, Williams unveiled a new corporate identity, drawing on its thirty year heritage by returning to an iconic ‘W’ brand device, refreshed and re-interpreted for the team’s fourth decade of racing. The new corporate identity forms part of the new racing identity of AT&T Williams. This new identity will be universally unveiled trackside, but is reflected in the new racing livery of the FW29.
With all of these disparate elements of progress over the winter, Williams’ Director of Engineering, Patrick Head, neatly summarized the team’s approach to 2007. “Of course we start every project we undertake with the ambition of being the best, whether in engineering or marketing terms and indeed we approach every race with the sole ambition to win. But we are not in the business of predicting the year ahead as that requires me to speculate about the likely performance of our rivals. All I can say is that as an organization we exist to race and everyone in the company has shown a singular sense of purpose over the winter and so we look forward to Melbourne with anticipation”.