Williams’ 2016 car will be ready to run on the opening day of pre-season testing next month.
“There will be no glamorous unveiling,” chief engineer Rob Smedley said at an auto racing show on the weekend. “We will run the car for the first time on 22 February in Barcelona.”
Having finished the constructors’ world championship in third place for the past two seasons, there are high hopes but technical boss Pat Symonds smiled that there are also “millions of reasons” why Ferrari sped past in 2015.
He is referring to the big difference between the budget of F1’s top independent team, and the grandees like Ferrari and Mercedes.
Nonetheless, Valtteri Bottas declared last week that he thinks winning in 2016 is “quite possible” for the Grove based team.
But on the 20th anniversary of his 1996 world title for Williams, Damon Hill questioned whether the team can ever win as a mere Mercedes customer.
“I think as a team wanting to win the outright championship, strategically they would be better off with another engine,” Hill told Sky. “And I think the only other engine you can think of is a Honda.”