Williams FW33 Final 2011 Livery

Williams finally showed off their car in its final form today with the definite colour scheme it will sport for the 2011 season. Upon first glance, it isn’t a whole lot different from the last several years, but for several new details which harken back to the 1990s when the team was sponsored by Rothmans. It’s a cool retro look in a way, going along with the current trend of retro coming back, as seen with the Lotus Renault black and gold.

I generally have preferred the Williams cars of the past that have been more white than navy but this one is still a cool looking car. I suppose it makes sense for them to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field, and navy blue is the definitive colour of the team.

Sam Michael and the team are talking positively about the team’s chances this year. While they have some encouraging signs with how their car is designed, I’m reluctant to commit to any such thoughts myself until we’ve seen a few races. The issue is that every team always say that they’ll improve, but I just have this bad feeling that they will fall greatly short of these lofty aims.

After watching and loving the end of the Daytona 500 recently, it pains me to see how pitiful F1 continues to be in making teams as equally competitive as possible. Practically nothing is being done to ensure a level playing field. The closest F1 will ever get to a Trevor Bayne story is Lewis Hamilton’s immediate impact in 2007 but that was only because of his extraordinary talent and belief, and in no small part because he was raised in motorsport terms by McLaren.

Still, back to the subject, I think Williams should be better this year and you would assume they will stay ahead of Force India and the other midfield teams, by more than a single point this time too. Considering how many important members of staff Force India have lost to Team Lotus and Sauber, it’s hard to see how they can keep their development at a high enough level to challenge the Grove based team. Whether they can edge closer to Renault and Mercedes is less likely, but it would be a great story if they could do so.

This team is not lacking in funding and they need to put their money and brain-power to good use to get themselves back to where they should be, fighting for wins at the very least.


F1: Silverstone GP Review

Last week’s British GP I thought was a really interesting race. It all came down to the start. Mark Webber got off the line fantastically well to get up the inside of Vettel. Hamilton was looking for a way to slot into second but went into the first turn too hot and slightly tagged Sebastian’s back right tire. That seemingly insignificant tap was enough to puncture the tire and wreck Vettel’s race.

From there Webber led a controlled and fairly comfortable race. Hamilton pushed him hard but in the end his pace just wasn’t quite there to catch Webber, and it was fairly clear to see that the red Bull had speed in hand. Jenson Button started 14th and after a fantastic first lap and a good pit stop strategy he finished off a great recovery drive to 4th.

Vettel was almost a lap down after he rejoined the race after a long slow lap on the punctured tire and a very early pit stop. He went to the end on the hard tire and overtook most of the grid before finishing 7th. The overtake on Sutil for that position was very aggressive and could have ended badly but he just about got away with it. It was a great recovery from a terrible situation but 7th is still not where he thought he would be.

Other notable performances include both Williams cars getting into the top 10. Barrichello proved again that the team are making good progress with their car and he was unlucky to not have stayed in front of Button after the stops. Hopefully they can keep improving or at least maintain these steady results.

Nico Rosberg had his third podium of the year and shows that Mercedes are still there and this season is only half way through, so people shouldn’t be writing them off yet at all. Michael Schumacher was less impressive in 9th but he will likely continue to improve.

It was also another impressive display from Kamui Kobayashi who followed up his 7th place in Valencia with a 6th at Silverstone. He’s really starting to show the form he had at Toyota last year in those couple of races he had in Timo Glock’s place and is justifying his seat at Sauber. Pedro De La Rosa is still struggling but hopefully he’ll get the reliability and speed back in the next race and get into the points.

The next race is coming up this coming weekend from Hockenheim in Germany. I don’t know much about that track so I’m excited to see how the layout is for F1.