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Williams FW30 rolls out at foggy Valencia

NEWS STORY
21/01/2008

The AT&T Williams team's 2008 season car, the Williams Toyota FW30, took to the track at the Valencia circuit in Southern Spain this morning for a shakedown prior to starting its winter testing in earnest tomorrow.

The team's newly recruited test driver, Nico Hulkenberg, is taking on the responsibility of shaking down the new race car before regular race driver, Nico Rosberg and his team-mate, Kazuki Nakajima, share first assessments of the car from tomorrow onwards.

The car represents a clear engineering philosophy of iteration and progressive development from the competitive and reliable platform of last season's FW29.

The team's Technical Director, Sam Michael explains, "With four years of regulation stability, we have a good basis to be progressive about the development of this season's car. With a good reliability record last year, we have been able to build on this quality while also turning some of our attention to clear performance objectives."

With an established technical team, the car is the product of a stable engineering base as well as settled regulations and for the first time since 2004, continuity of engine supplier with Toyota meaning that drivetrain installation has not been a resource-demanding aspect of the design process. With 8,000 mechanical releases and 35,000 manhours of design time, it is remarkable to consider that much of this work will be rendered obsolete in the next eight to twelve months.

The car retains the general structural and layout philosophy of its forebear, featuring a zero keel and dual pillar rear wing, with notable visual changes including a three plane front wing, increased sidepod top cooling louvres in view of the altered orientation of the water radiators, the sidepod and side impact sails and the increased cockpit sides for compliance with the new driver safety requirements.

"Our focus has been on performance as well as refining our packaging and weight distribution. We are designing a tidier car with a higher standard of build quality. The FW30 should represent a good step forward when all of the many small areas of attention and improvement are brought together in the overall package," said Michael.

Prior to the roll-out of the FW30, the team has also spent considerable time and made good headway in attending to a number of the other regulation changes, such as the integration of a standard ECU and the outlawing of traction control. As much as a busy winter for mechanical designers and CFD aerodynamicists, specialist code and software engineers have been busy rewriting strategies that will govern the management of the car's main components, from the new seamless shift gearbox to the differentials and engine. The FW30 is also biofuel compliant in order to meet the new season requirement that all race fuels contain 5.75% biomatter. Having worked in tandem with its fuel partner, Petrobras, the team was the first to use biofuel as part of a Formula One demonstration run in downtown Rio de Janeiro last October.

For its roll-out, the FW30 is liveried in the second of a campaign series of six designs celebrating Williams' thirty years in Formula One. Reflecting the collegiate nature of Formula One, which requires a wide variety of technical and financial contributors, a committed and skilled workforce and the essential support of the viewing public, this week's design communicates Williams' thanks to its staff and its fans.

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