• Jan 19th 2009 at 4:58PM
  • 16

Click on the image above for a high-res gallery of the new Williams FW31

It's been a long time since Williams stood atop the Formula 1 world, but back when they were, nobody could take them down. They've won seven drivers' championships, with such pilots as Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Jacques Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna – and taken nine constructors' championships just to wash 'em down. But that was a long time ago, and since then the team has fallen far from the top. Could this be the year they come back?

With F1's technical regulations turned all topsy-turvy for 2009, Williams was the first to start preparing. They're also the only team to go with a mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System, opting for a flywheel to store recovered braking energy instead of the battery-based systems developed by the other teams. The flywheel is installed in the new FW31, powered by a Toyota engine and unveiled at the new Algarve circuit in Portugal, where several other teams – including Renault – came to test out their new gear. Test driver Nico Hulkenberg was behind the wheel, soon to be joined by lead drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima, who remain with the team for 2009. Check out the new Williams FW31 – wearing interim dark blue livery for the off-season – in the gallery below.

[Source: Williams F1]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      That paint job will make swirl marks VERY visible. That's black for ya.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's none more black.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What is the metal rod on top?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That metal rod on top is a pitot tube. There's another shorter one near the front of the car. You see the same thing on aircraft. They're used in conjunction with air speed and altitude indicators. The Williams engineers are no doubt testing airspeed and flow above the car out of the vehicle's slipstream as opposed to the airspeed in the slipstream of the car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        measurements have to be taken outside the aerodynamic boundary layer
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this one's the best looking so far (of the new designs).
      The front lips don't look as wide and "narrow" rear-spoiler doesn't look so bad. It mus the color-scheme but it looks better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      my money is on the flywheel based energy recovery systems, once you get the kinks worked out, it has to weigh less than the electric systems
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah I love that its mechanical!

        There is also this bus company which is using compressed hydraulics so under braking charge power under accel blah obvious. Thing is sweet!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That looks bad ass. Hopefully it won't get hurt in night races!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Reflective graphics & all those lights will ensure no worries.

        Plus this is an "interim" livery... Williams has launched with alt. liveries the last few years. Look for some more white added to the FW31.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Track signage says "AT&T Williams"...

      ...yet Phillips & RBS bank are much more prominent on the car? Why be the team's title sponsor if you are barely on the car?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's exactly why.. it's ALWAYS AT&T Williams
        • 6 Years Ago
        Remember RBS are in bloody trouble in the UK. I think it's a good idea to keep a low profile if taxpayers are keeping you afloat considering how much F1 sponsorship costs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Senna never won a championship with Williams
        • 6 Years Ago
        Senna never won a race with Williams, the best he could get before getting killed in Imola was three poles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        He won for 5 consective seasons in Heaven's F1 race series, racing alongside Fangio, Nuvolari, Hunt (oh no wait, he's on Satan's team), Gilles Villeneuve and of course, Black Stig.

        RIP, the world was a worse place without you.
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