Narain Karthikeyan has made a surprise return to Formula One after being announced as one of Hispania HRT’s drivers for the 2011 season.
The Indian driver was unveiled as the first racer to be working with the Spanish based squad, who look likely to enter into a second season of racing despite on-going financial concerns. Karthikeyan first raced in Formula One with Jordan in 2005, before spending a brief time as a Williams test driver. He has also raced in Superleague and in Audi sportscars.
Team principal Colin Kolles said: “It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain Karthikeyan as our race driver for the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship.
“I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan Grand Prix and being test and reserve driver for Williams F1. Narain has also been driving in other racing series and running in one of the legendary Audi sportscars in the Le Mans Series.
“I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season. We are welcoming Narain to our team and we look forward to working closely with him this year.”
HRT have yet to announce their second driver, but it will not be Karun Chandhok. He claims he declined the chance to race for the team. Sources also suggest that Bruno Senna will not be returning as he cannot find enough sponsorship capital. Nico Hulkenberg and Tonio Liuzzi are both linked to the seat with the minnows.
Williams CEO Adam Parr has rubbished rumours that Pastor Maldonado is simply racing for the Williams team as a “pay driver”.
Maldonado has joined the British based team alongside Rubens Barrichello, ousting popular German rookie Nico Hulkenberg. Speculation in the press had been that Maldonado could raise more sponsorship capital for the team and Hulkenberg, something Williams desperately needs as many of their main sponsorship deals come to an end in 2011.
“The guy just won the GP2 with a rookie team with more victories than anyone. The mere fact that we have to talk about it is absurd. It’s a shame, really,” Parr told motor21.com
Parr also had good words to say about former man Hulkenberg;
“I would like to see him at Williams again,” Parr explained.
“He has the dedication and the passion to be a great driver and I was so impressed with his maturity and professionalism.
“I hope he finds a position somewhere else but on the other hand I would like to maintain a relationship with him,” he added.
Williams have confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will be racing for the team next season alongside veteran Rubens Barrichello.
Maldonado, the current GP2 champion takes the race seat of recently released Nico Hulkenberg, the man who delivered the team its first pole position for 6 years at Brazil.
It will mark the first time in over 30 years that a Venezuelan has taken the wheel of a Formula One car.
“I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers,” Maldonado said. “It is a great way to end what has already been an amazing year for me.
“I tested with the team in Abu Dhabi, but can’t wait to start working with everyone properly to be in the best possible shape going into next year. I will be doing my best over the winter to prepare myself, and I know the team will be working hard to ensure a successful season.
“2011 will be the first time in nearly 30 years that a Venezuelan has driven a Formula 1 car so I will be looking to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.”
Sir Frank Williams, team owner added:
“Pastor first caught my eye in 2007 when he drove a masterful race at Monaco,” Williams said. “Since then, he has regularly reminded us of his unquestionable talent with some skilful wins, particularly during this year’s GP2 championship, taking an unsurpassed record of six successive victories.
“Of course, we already know Pastor from the time he spent with the team at the Abu Dhabi test, but we are very much looking forward to developing his talent over
the winter and a fruitful season with him next year.”
Various drivers had the opportunity to test the new Pirelli tyres today in the first test at Abu Dhabi. While only driving their 2010 machines, it will give them the chance to evaluate the new rubber from the Italian manufacturer.
Here’s what a variety of the drivers thought about the tyres following the test.
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing):
“Given the short amount of time Pirelli had, I think they did a good job,” said world champion Sebastian Vettel, who set the second-fastest time of the day. “It’s a good start and it was good to be back in the car.
“You need to give the car a bit of time to adapt to the tyres. We need to work on the set-up, but I think it’s a common view that the tyres have behaved pretty well and probably better than a lot of people expected.”
Rubens Barrichello (Williams):
“I’ve been positively impressed,” said Barrichello. “The track is a little bit different because I think they polished the asphalt because of the Bridgestone rubber.
“I don’t think it’s time to make comparisons, but I thought it was positive. I did 42 laps in the morning and it was okay. They are different to Bridgestones and we need to keep learning. We could not expect a completely different tyre to work the same way. I quite like the challenge.”
Felipe Massa (Ferrari):
“The harder compound has a lot of degradation and it’s not as quick as I expected,” Massa said.
“As for the softer tyre, I was very happy with it. It’s quick, degradation is very good. I did long runs with both and the one I did with the softer tyre was very good, possibly better than what I had last Sunday in the race.
“Of course, again, they’ll have to work to improve the harder compound they brought here, but that’s what this test was all about. Pirelli saw what happened, listened to our suggestions and understood the situation.”
Robert Kubica (Renault):
“It’s difficult to compare because we had a race five days ago and the track has changed quite a lot due to the testing and the rubber that was laid down,” said Kubica. “I’m sure that the track grip is much better than it was in the race.
“This makes it difficult to compare them – there’s no point really in comparing them. There’s quite a big difference. It is always pretty interesting when you change tyres to feel the difference and make some set-up changes and stuff like this.
“It’s just to get an idea for next year’s car which characteristics will work best. We will never get track conditions with so much rubber on the race weekends, so actually I don’t think it’s so significant, this test. A lot of the young drivers had many sets of new tyres! Although the track was washed yesterday, I didn’t recognise it. It was like a different track.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz):
“They’re at least similar [to Bridgestone's] or perhaps for worse for us at the moment”
“…In the big picture, they are pretty similar in the end to the Bridgestones, but if you are then looking for the fine tuning to extract the performance there is some way to go on adapting the set-up.
“At the moment, we have done the small things that you can do at the track but there are the bigger things that you need to take care of with the car development. That’s going to be one of the areas that are very important for success for next year.”
Williams have announced that Rubens Barrichello will race for the team once again next season, but talented rookie Nico Hulkenberg will be leaving the Grove based team.
Barrichello, who is the most experienced F1 driver of all time, had a relatively successful season with the British team headed up by Sir Frank Williams.
“We recruited Rubens knowing he would bring technical expertise, experience and passion,” said Williams. “He has delivered everything we could have hoped for this season and we are delighted to confirm that he will drive for us again in 2011.”
Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg has told reporters he will be leaving the team. The young German, who gave Williams their first pole position since 2005, said he was disappointed to be leaving.
“I heavily regret that,” Hulkenberg said in a statement. “I would have been happy to stay with Williams.
“I want to thank the team for a great time and I wish Williams all the best for the future.”
Hulkenberg’s manager, Wili Weber says that Nico will have a race seat next season.
“I am negotiating with other teams,” Weber said. “Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011.”
He has only a limited number of options for next season, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up racing.
Nico Hulkenberg took a surprise pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the German rookie’s first ever pole.
His Williams team were delighted with the performance, which marks their first pole position since 2005. Their last win came at this circuit in 2004, with Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel.
Hulkenberg used the changing conditions to his advantage, slipping through into Q3 then using the slick bridgestone tyres to set a flawless lap time that was over 1 second faster than the nearest opponent.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start 2nd and 3rd respectively, while the other two title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will start 4th and 5th.
Michael Schumacher will start only 8th, the German driver showed good pace at Interlagos today getting into Q3 unlike his team mate Nico Rosberg who will start only 13th tomorrow.
Rosberg isn’t the only big name to be low on the time screen’s today. Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion starts only 11th and Adrian Sutil is down in 18th.
With changeable conditions, and a surprise man on pole we are certainly set for an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow!
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:20.050 1:19.144 1:14.470 2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:19.160 1:18.691 1:15.519 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.025 1:18.516 1:15.637 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.931 1:18.921 1:15.747 5. Alonso Ferrari 1:18.987 1:19.010 1:15.989 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:19.799 1:18.925 1:16.203 7. Kubica Renault 1:19.249 1:18.877 1:16.552 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1:19.879 1:18.923 1:16.925 9. Massa Ferrari 1:19.778 1:19.200 1:17.101 10. Petrov Renault 1:20.189 1:19.153 1:17.656 11. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.905 1:19.288 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.741 1:19.385 13. Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.153 1:19.486 14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.158 1:19.581 15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.096 1:19.847 16. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.174 1:19.899 17. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:20.592 1:20.357 18. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.830 19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.130 20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.250 21. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.378 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.810 23. Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:23.083 24. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:23.796
As the Formula One “silly” season comes around again, and drivers are beginning to sign on the dotted line to new contracts one of the more overlooked rumours this weekend in Japan has been the possibility that Felipe Massa could be ready to leave Ferrari in search of being an out and out first driver.
The Brazilian was drafted into Ferrari and raced as Michael Schumacher’s understudy in 2006. In 2007, he was overshadowed by Kimi Raikkonen who went on to win the title. In 2008, he missed out on the championship by just a single point and 2009 was the infamous year where he was nearly killed. 2010 has been a difficult year for Massa. he had to move aside in Germany, so that Fernando Alonso could win the race in order to help his world championship challenge. It smelt like Schumacher/Barrichello from years before.
At the time Massa accepted the decision, but has become increasingly unhappy both on and off the track. His performances have slid, and he doesn’t look happy in the garage. On Thursday ahead of the Grand Prix, Massa told reporters that he “Didn’t want to be a 2nd driver, only the first driver. I don’t want to be another Rubens Barrichello”. Hastily, the boss of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo said that he was still a number 1. But how can a team have two number ones? Especially when the other driver is Fernando Alonso. Lets not forget 2007, when Alonso was challenged at McLaren and he didn’t accept it.
Italian Press and the Suzuka paddock have been awash with rumour that he was ready to leave the team. The main teams he is being linked with are Renault, and believe it or not – Force India. The latter statement shows just how far the little team based in Silverstone has come, to attract a driver like Felipe. Word in the paddock is that now Raikkonen has declined Renault, Adrian Sutil will leave Force India and head across to Enstone to partner Robert Kubica. This leaves the Force India door wide open for Scotsman Paul di Resta to take over from Tonio Liuzzi, and Felipe Massa could slot in as the number 1 driver within the team.
So it looks like Felipe may hold the key to the driver market this season. If he leaves, it leaves a completely empty race seat with Ferrari – who could potentially be the drivers championship winning team. Both drivers at Red Bull and McLaren are secure for 2011, so it would be likely to be an outsider driver coming in to the team. They have a range of options. They could select a youngster, one of their young driver programme drivers, but this is highly risky for the team and they would have to be confident that the driver could perform at the highest level straight from the off.
Their other option is to bring in someone experienced. Kimi Raikkonen rejected Renault for the team, as opposed to rejecting the prospect of Formula One. Could he make a sensational come back to F1 with Ferrari? Another possibility could be Michael Schumacher, the tainted son of the Italian team, has allegedly been offered an ultimatum by his Mercedes Benz bosses – perform or face the sack. Returning to Ferrari would guarantee him continued legend status, and almost certainly a competitive car. If Schumacher did leave Mercedes, then Nico Hulkenberg could go across to the all German team – his race seat at Williams is rumoured to be being offered to Pastor Maldonado, the GP2 World Champion.
It could make for an exciting winter season after all!
German Touring Car racer Gary Paffett was fastest on the second day of rookie testing at Jerez.
The Brit completed a fastest lap of 1.18.718 which was just under half a second faster than second placed man Nico Hulkenberg, who is a confirmed race driver with the Williams team for 2010.
In third was Daniel Ricciardo, the British F3 champion having a positive day. Paul di Resta was down in 4th, but still much faster than Force India test driver competitor JR Hildebrand who was 8th. Splitting those two were Esteban Gutierrez, Mike Conway and Marcus Ericsson.
Ferrari’s new signing Jules Bianchi was down in 9th, but put plenty of laps on the board ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Ho-Pin Tung.
Last was Mirko Bortolotti in the Toro Rosso who had a technical problem and caused the days only red flag when he accidentally pushed a button which shut down the gear change system.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Paffett McLaren 1m18.718s 80 2. Hulkenberg Williams 1m19.184s + 0.466s 94 3. Ricciardo Red Bull 1m19.243s + 0.526s 93 4. Di Resta Force India 1m19.411s + 0.693s 58 5. Gutierrez Sauber 1m20.190s + 1.472s 68 6. Conway Brawn 1m20.222s + 1.504s 83 7. Ericsson Brawn 1m20.440s + 1.722s 37 8. Hildebrand Force India 1m20.517s + 1.799s 50 9. Bianchi Ferrari 1m20.585s + 1.868s 113 10. Di Grassi Renault 1m20.898s + 2.180s 55 11. Tung Renault 1m21.492s + 2.774s 67 12. Bortolotti Toro Rosso 1m21.761s + 3.043s 69
In other testing news Betrand Baguette the highly rated Belgian will get another taste of F1 tomorrow, this time with the Sauber team.
The 23 year old drove on the first day of testing with Renault, his prize for winning the 3.5 Renault World Series championship.
“I am very happy to be able to drive for Sauber,” Baguette told AUTOSPORT. “It will be a second day for me – and it’s always good to get two days of testing instead of one.
“It will be very interesting to compare the differences between the two teams and the two cars.”
Rubens Barrichello has visited the Williams F1 Team factory at Grove, Oxfordshire today to have a look around and to get to know some of the people who will help him fight for 2010 title better.
Barrichello took time out to see the factory and also walk the hallowed territory through the famous private museum. Both locations, I have visited (see: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/my-day-at-the-williams-factory-thanks-to-philips/ ) and can vouch for their quality and brilliance.
“I am going to realise a dream, because ever since I saw F1 on TV for the first time, I have dreamed of driving for them,” Barrichello told O Globo the Brazilian TV channel this morning.
Rubens also revealed that he had contract talks with McLaren, and that he only had a contract for the first 4 races of the season with Brawn in 2009, with the rest of his contract being based on performances.
Meanwhile new team mate Nico Hulkenberg says he wants to match Rubens’ pace, and hopefully beat the veteran challenger on a few occassions.
The German GP2 Champion also pointed out he would be stupid to ignore the advice of a driver with so much experience.
“I hope that I’ll be on his pace right from the beginning and that I can match his speed and results – and maybe even beat him at some point!” 22-year-old Nico told reporters on Wednesday. “I just want to have the best team-mate I can get; one who’s quick, experienced and a good driver – and that’s what I see in him.”
Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg have been unveiled today as the new driver pairing for the Williams F1 Team for 2010.
Rubens Barrichello joins the team on the back of a strong season with Brawn GP, where he finished 3rd in the title standings fighting World Champion Jenson Button hard for the title and helping Brawn to the constructors title victory.
Nico Hulkenberg has just won the GP2 series, and also has won championships in Formula 3, A1GP and Formula BMW Deutschland.
Team principal Frank Williams said: “Rubens needs no introduction. He is not only the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but a passionate and talented driver who fought hard for the drivers’ championship this year.
“Nico Hulkenberg won the GP2 Championship this season as a rookie and has previously won the F3 Euro Series, A1 GP and Formula BMW Germany.”
Nico Rosberg now looks set to move to Brawn, and Kazuki Nakajima looks increasingly more likely to have no drive for 2010.
Nico Hulkenberg, the highly regarded German racer is being widely tipped for a race seat with the Williams F1 Team for next season after an interview with Sam Michael.
Hulkenberg is already a tester with the team based in Grove, and has completed some running with the 2009 car. Nico also races in GP2, and could clinch the title at the next round of the season in Monza with a race to spare.
“Nico is someone that is on our list for a drive next year,” said Michael. “But there are lots of drivers knocking on our door.
“It’s a point of discussion internally at the moment and we need to come to a decision in the coming weeks or months. We have a long-term contract and we have to decide whether to engage that or not.”
With Nico Rosberg talking with McLaren about taking over from Heikki Kovalainen [who might be back off to Renault], and Kazuki Nakajima potentially being ousted now Williams will not be using Toyota engines, it’s all to play for on the Williams driver search.
Brawn GP have maintained their good form into one of the last tests before the F1 circus packs up and heads for the first race in Australia.
Today it was Brazilian, Rubens Barrichello who topped the timesheet of just 3 cars with a highly respectable 1.19 lap time.
With Brawn’s fantastic performance over the past week, they have been grabbing headlines globally and it has been hinted at that the pace shown from the BGP001 is totally genuine. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa claimed that the biggest threat now came from the Brackley based team.
Fernando Alonso was second, but he had a heavy crash in the morning. Alonso admitted that this was driver error.
“Unfortunately I made a mistake this morning which was a shame as we lost a lot of track time, but sometimes this happens in testing when you are looking for the limits of the car,” he said.
Nico Hulkenberg stepped into the Williams after testing for his new GP2 team ART GP this week, but was 3rd and last lagging 2 tenths behind the Renault.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:19.236 102 2. Alonso Renault (B) 1:19.819 40 3. Hulkenberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.013 69
One of F1′s brightest young stars, 21 year old German driver Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that he is hoping he can turn his test role into a race one for the 2010 season.
The protege of Michael Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber is one in a long line of bright new German motor racing stars, with Sebastian Vettel lighting up the track at the moment.
Hulkenberg joined Williams last year as a test and 3rd driver, while still racing in the F3 Euroseries. He has been highly successful in that category, winning the F3 Euroseries title in 2008, and the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort in 2007. During the 2006-2007 off-season he won the A1GP title with Team Germany.
Williams can see the talent in the rookie, and trusted him with the track debut of their new car, the Fw31 a couple of weeks ago.
“I hope they turn to me if a place becomes available,” Hulkenberg told Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell
“That is absolutely my personal goal [to get an F1 seat],”
“Last year I drove ten days, this year [with the new rules] there will be probably no more than five. But the team already knows from last year how I drive.”
Williams have joined Renault in launching their 2009 challenger today in a low key event at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal.
The British based team left test driver and rising star Nico Hulkenberg with the duty to show the new car, named the Fw31 to the presses.
The new machine will give the team optimism to get back to the top with the swathes of new rule changes leaving this car completly different to the FW30. Still powered by a Toyota engine, this car has a lot in common with the Ferrari F60. It has a very similar front wing, and aerodynamic winglets protruding from the sidepods where Ferrari houses its wing mirrors.
The car seen here is in an interim test livery and will have a liverly launch nearer to the first round of the season in March.
Philips have become a larger sponsor to the team, who are struggling to find backers in the increasingly tough economic crisis. Thomson, Oris and RBS still remain on the car, but for RBS how much longer must be questioned as they posted a £20billion loss, the largest loss for a British company ever today.
Kazuki Nakajima has done enough to secure his place with the Williams F1 Team for the 2009 season, Frank Williams revealed in a team press release this morning.
The Japanese driver raced for the first time in Brazil 2007, and has put in some solid performances over the course of the 2008 season.
With Nico Rosberg already been confirmed earlier in the year, this means that Williams’ ine-up will remain unchanged as they head into the new year.
Test driver Nico Hulkenberg, widely touted as another brilliant German talent is staying as a test driver as he trailblazes a career through lower formula’s.
“I am delighted we are able to maintain continuity with our drivers going into 2009.” Frank Williams said,
“Nico Rosberg continues to be one of the most capable drivers in the sport. Kazuki is getting stronger all the time and has more to offer and Nico Hulkenberg is developing well.”
Luca Badoer put Ferrari back in a commanding position in the first day of testing at Barcelona this week.
The test driver set a fastest time of
This was enough to push maiden GP winner in Canada Robert Kubica down into 2nd position on the sheets.
Coulthard and Buemi, who were sharing the same car for Red Bull were 3rd and 4th.
Gary Paffett joined the barrage of test drivers at the event coming 5th, just ahead of Anthony Davidson who returns to F1 as Honda’s test driver.
Nico Hulkenberg was 7th in the Williams completing 112 laps, the most of anyone; with Romain Grosjean, who had problems with his engine in 8th.
“It was a great day and I’m grateful for this opportunity to test the R28 and work with the team,” Grosjean commented.
Kamui Kobayashi was last for Toyota.
|2||R. Kubica||BMW Sauber||1.22.682||69|
|3||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||1.22.724||21|
|4||S. Buemi||Red Bull||1.22.764||79|
Williams F1 Team have finally show the world the colour scheme that their 2008 car, the FW30, will wear as it races for the title this season.
The new car, which was unofficially launched during testing has been relatively impressive, propelling drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima up the timesheets. Also, German test driver Nico Hulkenberg has been impressive in the car.
Apart from major frontwing failure which caused Nakajima to have a major accident, there have been very few problems for the British team.
The new livery is mainly a navy blue colour, with splashes of white on it. It looks very much like the old liveries when BMW were the engine supplier. In terms of sponsorship, the car is certainly not bare. AT&T remain as the main team sponsor with presence all over the car. Lenovo kept their rear wing advertisment, and RBS also remain as a major feature of the engine box. Hamleys (as mentioned below) are now a very prominent sponsor on the sidepods. BR Petronas have their spot above the barge boards.
Reuters appear on the cockpit sides, All Saints on the rear wing and Oris on the front wing endplates.
Williams will be hoping that their Toyota powered car can return them to the glory days, when they were challenging Ferrari and McLaren for points, wins and titles.
Patrick Head commented during the livery launch,
“We don’t really target any particular team. We are just trying to do the best we can. Ferrari won the championship last year so they are the target,”
“Obviously I would be disappointed if we cannot get in and give the odd Ferrari and the odd McLaren a fright during the year. But both of the teams seem to be in very good shape for the start of the year.
“BMW, I think, have had a difficult introduction but they seem to have got it pretty well sorted now and I think they will be quick.
“Red Bull seems quite good, but they have been stuck in the garage a few times. Renault have made some positive noises and I am sure they will be better than last year but you don’t get the impression they will be challenging Ferrari and McLaren.”
He added: “We know we’ve got a much better car than last year’s car and a much more stable back end on it and things. But I think quite a number of teams have got improved cars.”
Livery Launch Pictures
Patrick Head, technical chief of Williams F1 Team says that he wants the new Williams FW30 to show more pace, despite good initial tests.
Over the past few sessions in Valencia, the FW30 has proven itself a very able car, which has shot their drivers up the timesheets. Kazuki Nakajima was faster than Lewis Hamilton a few days ago, and Nico Rosberg was even leading one session for sometime before world champion Kimi Raikkonen outpaced everyone.
Head admits the Toyota powered car looks good, but he wants the gap to Ferrari closed.
“The car is better and faster than last year’s,” he said.
“But we can still see there is a good gap between Ferrari and ourselves, so we have got a lot of work to do.
“Like most of the teams we are expecting to develop our car before the first race in Melbourne, but I doubt we will be sitting on the first row of the grid in Melbourne. I hope we are reasonably well up though.”
“We are never happy… it [the tests] was okay. It is never acceptable, but it is the right direction. It is a faster car, but not fast enough yet.”
The new car is putting Williams in their strongest position for a few years, since Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were racing for the team in the early 2000′s.
Williams F1 Team have shown their new 2008 car, the FW30 on track for the first time today in Valencia.
The British team opted against an official launch of their new car, instead bringing it out on track.
The car was scheduled to be launched last week at Jerez, but it was put back a week so that adjustments could be made.
Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima are the teams 2 race drivers. Nico Hulkenberg is the team test driver.
The current livery is part of a special comemorative series, and the official race livery will not be revealed until the Australian GP in March.
Technical director Sam Michael said: “Our focus has been on performance as well as refining our packaging and weight distribution.
“We are designing a tidier car with a higher standard of build quality. The FW30 should represent a good step forward when all of the many small areas of attention and improvement are brought together in the overall package.”
CHECK OUT THE WILLIAMS FW30 GALLERY:
Nico Hulkenberg is the latest talented young driver to be snapped up as a test driver for the forthcoming season. He has joined the Williams F1 Team after a highly successful test at Jerez last week.
The 20 year-old German driver has been racing in the F3 Euroseries, and is managed by the same group that brought Michael Schumacher into F1.
He will be working alongside Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima who are this year’s confirmed race drivers for the UK based outfit.
“The two days of Formula One testing with the AT&T Williams team last week in Jerez were the realisation of an ambition that has driven me ever since my first kart race back in 1997,” said Hulkenberg.
“When I actually got out on track in the FW29, it fulfilled every expectation and more. So to have represented myself sufficiently well to have been appointed as the team’s official test driver is the most amazing news and for me, Christmas has come early.”
Technical director Sam Michael added: “Nico has been through the rigours of our driver assessment programme culminating in his two day test in Jerez last week.
“Clearly he has shown demonstrable talent in the junior formulae, but it was important for us to see if he could make the step to Formula One. On the evidence we have so far, Nico is a quick and capable driver.”
Talented German racing driver Nico Hulkenberg has bagged himself a test with Williams F1 Team.
The driver has competed and won in BMW Deutschland, A1GP and F3 Euroseries, winning many prestigious events with those.
He has even taken the interest of Michael Schumacher, and has the same management company.
Williams will be looking for a new test driver after 2007 tester Kazuki Nakajima stepped up to replace Alex Wurz who retired.
Hulkenberg will test for 2 days at this week’s Jerez tests. It will mark the first occassion he has driven an F1 car.