Williams tests its new car at Jerez on December 7 (click to enlarge)
After McLaren decided to hold an official unveiling of its new car after all, another British grand prix team has decided against it. Hard at work on the new FW30, Williams F1 has opted instead to focus on the car's development rather than making a big spectacle, as is expected of most of its rivals.
Show or no show, you have to admire Williams' dedication to getting back to the top. The team is entering its 30th season in F1, but while it was once a championship-winning team – it has taken the constructors' title nine times and the driver's crown seven – Williams hasn't won either since Jacques Villeneuve in 1997. Since then, the team has gone downhill, having to resort to buying customer engines after longtime engine partner Renault left F1 (only to return years later with its own team), and again after BMW defected to Sauber.
Last season Williams placed a respectable fourth in the constructors' championship, behind Ferrari, BMW Sauber and Renault, beating out its engine provider, Toyota's own (considerably better-funded) works team, in the process. Having failed to finish grands prix four times in 2007, Williams plans on improving its reliability in pursuit of an even better 2008 on a path back to the top. As for the new FW30, racing fans will have to check out the off-season test sessions for a glimpse of what the once-famous Williams engineers have been working on before the season kicks off on March 16 in Australia.