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F1's bloody nose // The Williams Mercedes FW36 is revealed

Published by Mr. C

F1 fans' worst fears were realised this morning as the Williams team released artwork detailing the shape of their 2014 challenger. Warnings about the look that some of this season's cars will be wearing have been circulating around the paddock for months, but today the whole world learned the ugly truth. The FW36 is going to be a hard car to love.

Williams FW36 render (perspective view)
Credit: Williams F1
Williams FW36 render (front view)
Credit: Williams F1
Williams FW36 render (side view)
Credit: Williams F1
Williams FW36 render (elevated view)
Credit: Williams F1

Williams' new car incorporates an all new 1.6 litre hybrid power unit from recently signed partners Mercedes-Benz, as well as a Mercedes AMG HPP energy recovery system. As will be the case with most teams, this launch-spec aerodynamic package is scheduled to be upgraded ahead of the first race in Australia.

The released computer renders depict the car in traditional heritage livery which the team often use during pre-season testing. It is interesting to note that no sponsors are to be found on the bodywork, while the company logo and branding have been refreshed. The team state that their car was one of the the first to pass FIA crash tests at the end of last year and is ready to begin testing in Jerez next week.

This season is a vital one for Williams after their well documented struggles of last year. Turning around that performance in a year of so many changes won't be an easy task but the team are confident they are heading in the right direction.

"There's a lot more technology on the cars this year. We've had turbo-charged engines in F1 before; what's different this time is that it is much more than just an engine change, it is a completely different system.

"We've gone from a slightly hybridised normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.

"The nose is lower than last year and the front wing is narrower, which means the end plates are now more shrouded by the front tyre. The rear wing isn't as deep as last year and the beam wing below it is no longer permitted, and we've also lost the ability to use the exhaust to enhance aero performance."

Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer, Williams

Formula One cars have been getting progressively more ugly since 2010 when rear wings were jacked up out of proportion to the rest of the chassis. Since then we have witnessed more and more extreme designs that have proved ever harder to like.

Teams will always push technical regulations to the very limit and obviously performance comes before looks. The only way to ensure that visual disasters like those witnessed during the past five seasons don't happen is for the governing body that sets the regulations to take the visual aspect of the sport into account. The FW36 won't be the only peculiar looking car unveiled in the coming weeks.

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