As far as launches go, this has to be the lowest-key roll out ever. Williams had stated previously that they weren’t too concerned about not holding an official launch party for their new 2008 challenger, citing reasons of there’s nothing to announce. Nico Rosberg is on a long-term contract, Kazuki Nakajima was confirmed last year, Toyota are still the squad’s engine partner and little else has changed, aside from the car. So instead, Williams opted to simply roll the new FW30 car out of the garage and get on with testing. Which, due to dense fog at Valencia this morning, lasted one lap.
Nico Hulkenberg, the teams new test driver, cruised out on to the cold Spanish tarmac and completed one installation lap in the new FW30 before the circuit was closed by the clerk. The fog had descended and visibility was dangerously low. It is expected to clear for this afternoon when Williams will run again, but for now, Sir Frank’s shiny new motor rest silently on its jacks.
The team are also running the second of the commemorative liveries today, celebrating some landmark moments that should be achieved this year, most notably the teams thirtieth season in the sport. The liveries are very retro in look, heralding the days when Williams were leading the field with the all powerful Fords and Renaults bolted to the back of the wonderful sculptured chassis. This particular fashion is meant as a hank you to all the Williams staff and supporters, with a message to that effect emblazoned on the rear wing end panels.
I for one sincerely hope Williams chose the dark blue over the white and keep with this beautiful colour scheme. And aside from that wish, there is very little else to say about this launch. The others so far have taken up two or three posts, but the Grove team barely manage a handful of paragraphs from me. More information on the FW30 will become known soon, and its performance will be analysed against the others this week as they complete the test at Valencia.