Williams F1 team unveil 2018 Formula One car, confirms Robert Kubica’s schedule

Robert Kubica, part of the Williams F1 team, will play a part in a Formula One campaign for the first time since suffering life-altering injuries in a rally crash.

other sports Updated: Feb 16, 2018 20:24 IST
Formula One,F1,2018 Formula one season
(From left) Jake Humphrey speaks with Williams F1 team drivers Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin and reserve and development driver Robert Kubica during the launch of the team’s car for the 2018 Formula One season on Friday.(REUTERS)

Williams F1 team believes it has made “significant progress” after revealing its car for the 2018 Formula One season, while Robert Kubica announced his schedule at the car’s launch.

Kubica will play a part in an F1 campaign for the first time since suffering life-altering injuries in a rally crash and the Pole is set to feature in three practice sessions this year.

He had been tested for a seat at Williams and Renault, but was not considered by the French squad, while Sergey Sirotkin was preferred in the race seat for the Grove-based outfit.

Sirotkin will make his debut alongside Lance Stroll, the Canadian teenager whose own introduction to the sport was mixed in 2017. Stroll secured a podium finish in Baku, the only driver outside of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to do so last year, but also struggled routinely in qualifying and was a way off team-mate Felipe Massa in the standings.

Williams’ 2018 challenger features notable changes to its aerodynamic parts, the team attributing a new look to the influences of former Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe and former Ferrari aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer, who joined the team during the previous season.

Lowe said in a statement: “The car has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance.

“All Formula One cars are an evolution of what has gone before to some extent, but the FW41 does involve a number of departures from the directions that have been pursued in the past. Overall, the philosophy we are starting to see emerge is a new approach to the collaboration between aerodynamics and design to achieve the optimum working result.”

Williams finished fifth in the constructors’ standings last term, albeit 104 points adrift of fourth-place Force India.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 20:24 IST