Formula One winter testing got underway just after the Williams team revealed their brand new car FW38 on the 19th of February. The FW38 was the first car to be revealed this year before their rivals, Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes.
However, on the 22nd February, at Circuit de Catalunya, Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to put the car on the track and test it while Felipe Massa was eyeing the new updates on the car with the engineers in the pit lane. The team has appeared as a strong in all around package with the FW38. Although the car has returned with the same look as last year with no big changes, the beautiful strips with the pure white background, even almost the the same sponsors logos was attached on the car. The car will be appearing almost with the same look for the third year respectively.
Winter testing showed Williams were best placed with Ferrari to challenge Mercedes in 2016. The Grove based teammates topped the time sheets back to back, Valtteri Bottas put Williams on top for the first time in Formula One pre-season testing as he set the pace on day two of the second week at Barcelona. The Finn set a 1m23.261s on the super-soft tyres having completed a series of qualifying simulations on the soft tyres.
On the other hand, Felipe Massa who was quickest through the speed trap in the second week of testing, topped the timesheets at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya with a best of 1m23.193s on the soft tyre. As the time delta showed the difference from soft tyre to ultra soft, over a second, this was a phenomenal lap by Massa and Williams.
Williams have signed former McLaren test driver Gary Paffett for simulator role for 2016
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams commented by saying: “We’re delighted to have someone with Gary’s experience join us at Williams, he is a highly professional racing driver and his level of testing knowledge, and ability to analyse data, will significantly help to drive forward development of the FW38 throughout the season.”
We all know that Williams had issues through low speed corners by giving the car more downforce. The Grove based team have struggled in this area for the last two years. We look forward to see big improvements from the team in 2016.