Williams reveal updated livery for FW45, adorned with new sponsors such as Gulf Oil; Alex Albon and rookie team-mate Logan Sargeant aiming to lift team up standings in 2023 after dismal five years; Williams also have new team principal in James Vowles, who starts on February 20.
Williams have revealed their new livery for the 2023 Formula 1 season after agreeing a mega new partnership with Gulf Oil.
The third team to start their campaign with a launch, Williams showed off an updated blue and red livery adorned with many new sponsors at their Grove base, before their FW45 car debuts hitting the track next Monday.
The most notable addition to the livery is the Gulf logo, with the oil company joining forces with another F1 team after its partnership with McLaren ended in 2022. Many had speculated that the Williams car may feature more of the famous blue and orange Gulf colours.
“This signifies the strength of our brand and commercial offerings as we continue our transformation,” said Matthew Savage, Chairman of the Board at Williams.
“Gulf and Williams Racing share an illustrious motorsport heritage and, together, we are making history with this partnership.”
Williams, one of the most successful F1 teams of all-time but backmarkers in recent years, have been going through their “transformation” since Dorilton Capital acquired the team from the legendary Sir Frank Williams in 2020.
Alex Albon returns for his second year with the team this year and will be partnered by rookie team-mate Logan Sargeant, F1’s first American driver since 2016.
Williams will also have a new team principal in James Vowles – the highly-respected Mercedes strategy chief – although he was not present at Monday’s launch as he doesn’t start in his role until February 20.
The FW45 will hit the track at Silverstone on Monday, February 13, before pre-season testing begins the following week.
Will new recruits help Williams end miserable run?
With 16 world championship titles to their name, only Ferrari and McLaren have won more titles than Williams – but the Grove outfit have been rock bottom of the standings in four of the last five seasons.
Powered by Mercedes engines, Williams will be aiming to leap up the field in 2023 after scoring eight points last year and say they have heavily evolved the sidepod concept on this year’s car.
They also say there are modifications to the front suspension layout and ‘major external aerodynamic surfaces’, while the car will be more ‘aerodynamically efficient’ than last season’s FW44.
Tasked with leading their rebuild is Vowles, while Albon – Max Verstappen’s former Red Bull team-mate – and rookie team-mate Sargeant form a young driver line-up.
“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,” said Albon.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do.”
Williams in F1 2023
|Team boss||James Vowles|
|2022 championship finish||10th|
|Best championship finish||1st (x9)|
Sargeant, 22, replaces Nicholas Latifi at Williams after finishing fourth in the feeder Formula 2 championship last year.
He added: “I’m really excited for the season to get started after what, for me, feels like a long winter! 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.”
Williams also have a driver academy that includes three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, who is bidding to make her name Stateside this season in Indy NXT.