Williams Reveals New-for-2019 F1 Car, Replacement for Outgoing Title Sponsor Martini
With talented drivers on board and a new design, is a Williams resurgence in the cards?
Williams Racing announced Tuesday that it has taken on Rokit as a title sponsor and altered the livery for its FW42 to reflect a new era in the team's history.
From 2014 through 2018, Williams' title sponsor was vermouth manufacturer Martini, though the company chose to discontinue its title sponsorship after a competitive decline since 2014. Martini is replaced by smartphone manufacturer Rokit, which seeks to combine telecom services with healthcare and insurance.
In ridding itself of Martini and the associated livery, Williams' livery redesign could signal a new era of competitiveness for the historic team, the third-oldest in F1. Buoyed by a dominant Mercedes engine, a low-drag aero philosophy, and a best-in-field set of gear ratios, the British team enjoyed a status as third-best in 2014 but has since slipped back down the order, finishing dead last in the 2018 World Constructors' Championship.
Aerodynamic problems and drivers of questionable quality were to blame for the team's difficult 2018, though Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe told Speedweek in December that the team has already completed its technical "turnaround."
If Lowe's claim is correct, Williams will not only have a more competitive car but also drivers viewed in higher regard than the outgoing Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin. 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion George Russell will race his rookie season with Williams alongside fan favorite and Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica, whose Ferrari-bound F1 career was sidelined after a serious rally crash in early 2011 nearly severed part of his right arm.
The Williams FW42 will be first seen on-track on Monday, Feb. 18, when winter testing begins in Barcelona.