Williams to start 2004 launches

Williams will be the first team to launch its 2004 challenger and drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are ready for the event. The FW26 will be presented at the Valencia circuit, Spain, on January 5th, where a large marquee is being constructed in the paddock. Along with Montoya and Schumacher, test driver Marc Gen? will be present and team principal Frank Williams, technical director Patrick Head and BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen.

Family picture for Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher and the Williams-BMW team.
Photo by BMW PressClub.
"Even though a driver is involved in the technical development of a new car, the launch is something special," said Schumacher, who is looking forward to driving the car. "It feels just like Christmas, you know roughly what you are going to get, but you're not exactly sure."

Montoya is confident the FW26 will be competitive: "The team has done an excellent job, and I firmly believe that we will have an advantage in 2004," he commented. After the launch the new car will move on to Jerez for its first long distance runs.

Williams knows what he wants from 2004: "Our ambition must start with winning each race, stealing Ferrari's crown and adding another Championship title to the record," said the team boss. Theissen concurred: "We want to win the Formula One World Championship," he said. "This is our No 1 priority and we have set the agenda to achieve this goal."

Other confirmed launches are Sauber, in Salzburg, Austria, on January 12th; Toyota, in Cologne, Germany on January 17th; Jaguar, at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, on January 18th and Renault, in Palermo, Sicily on January 29th.