Williams first to reveal 2017 F1 car, Mercedes signs James Allison as Technical Director

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The cars of the 2017 Formula One World Championship will be very different to anything we’ve seen in the past several years. Among the changes are longer, wider bodies and much wider tires.

The changes are aimed at increasing downforce and grip, which should lead to higher speeds and thus faster lap times. The power units, however, carry over mostly unchanged. They’re still turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6es paired up with two motor-generators.

Williams is the first to reveal its car for the new season, the FW40. The “FW” in the name are the initials of team founder Frank Williams, who still serves as Team Principal alongside his daughter Claire, while the number component marks this year’s 40th anniversary of the team’s first season of F1.

2017 Williams FW40 Formula One race car

2017 Williams FW40 Formula One race car

Enlarge Photo

Williams is holding back most of the details until closer to the start of testing at the end of this month. That’s when most of the other teams plan to reveal their cars (see schedule below).

The FW40 maintains the male appendage-like nose of previous years, though this is now joined by a swept wing at the front. The rear wing is also wider and so are the sections flanking the side pods. Of course, there’s no missing those huge Pirelli tires; they measure a massive 305/670 at the front and 405/670 at the rear.

Another major change for Williams is its driver lineup. Felipe Massa remains while rookie Lance Stroll is stepping in to replace Valtteri Bottas who is replacing the retiring Nico Rosberg at Mercedes AMG. Bottas will be driving alongside Lewis Hamilton.

2017 Williams FW40 Formula One race car

2017 Williams FW40 Formula One race car

Enlarge Photo

Speaking of Mercedes, the reigning champion has announced that F1 veteran James Allison will serve as its new Technical Director. Allison last served as Technical Director for Ferrari but stepped down midway through the 2016 season following the death of his wife.

He replaces Paddy Lowe who stepped down from Mercedes in January and is rumored to be joining Williams.

Below are the dates for the other teams’ 2017 F1 car reveals:

February 20: Sauber C36
February 21: Renault RS17
February 22: Force India VJM10
February 23: Mercedes AMG W08
February 24: Ferrari
February 24: McLaren MCL32
February 26: Red Bull RB13
February 26: Haas VF17
February 26: Toro Rosso STR12

 
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