Williams became the third team to unveil their 2023 F1 car, the first of their multi-year partnership with Gulf Oil, as Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant prepare for pre-season testing at the end of February.
The FW45 livery continues the all-blue colour scheme from Williams‘ 2022 rebrand, and though the team didn’t reveal their true 2023 car that will take to the track in Bahrain, they did reveal details about where it differs from the FW44.
Albon returns as team leader after comfortably outpacing Nicholas Latifi on the British-Thai driver’s return to the team, while American Logan Sargeant will make his F1 debut and get his first run in the car on the team’s Silverstone filming day.
“The car looks great and will hit the track at Silverstone,” Albon said. “I’m really excited to be starting back for another year with the team.
“The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023.
“So I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do, we also welcome new partners to the team this year, so it’s great to have them onboard.”
How will Williams’ 2023 car be different to 2022?
Williams said they’d focussed on the sidepods and rear of the car for their 2023 development, promising a ‘heavily evolved’ sidepod concept. That’s helped by a change in the power unit cooling layout around the rear suspension, while the front suspension has also been modified, and they hope to have optimised the car for the 2023 Pirelli tyres.
Albon also said he’d found the car an improvement over 2022 in the simulator, but the team will only find out for certain when the car hits the track in Bahrain for testing.
That will be the second chance Sargeant has had to push contemporary F1 machinery, after he took part in the post-season test at Abu Dhabi last year.
“I’m really excited for the season to get started after what, for me, feels like a long winter,” rookie Sargeant said. “I’m super motivated and we’ve put a lot of hard work in.
“The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off-season, so I’m looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain.”
Gulf stays in F1 with Williams
News that Williams were teaming up with Gulf had fans dreaming of a special livery combining two of the most iconic names in motorsport.
Gulf ran a retro livery with McLaren at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix that saw Lando Norris take third sporting the sky blue.
However, as Gulf switch to Williams for 2023, for now there’s only decals on the nose and rear wing to mark their presence.
“As Williams Racing continues its transformation, we’re proud to unveil this year’s livery,” Williams Board Chairman Martin Savage said. “We are excited about this year’s car, and I cannot thank the entire team at Grove enough for their hard work to get ready for the season.
“I am delighted to welcome both new and existing partners to our journey. With our new Team Principal James Vowles joining us later this month, as well as our exciting driver line-up of Alex and Logan, Williams Racing will be giving its all in 2023.”