The BMW WilliamsF1 Team today unveiled its 2001 challenger, the FW23, at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire (UK). The FW23 will contest the 2001 season with a clear target to close the gap against the established front runners and to...
The BMW WilliamsF1 Team today unveiled its 2001 challenger, the FW23, at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire (UK). The FW23 will contest the 2001 season with a clear target to close the gap against the established front runners and to defend the team's third place in the FIA Formula One Constructors World Championship. A team led by b>Geoff Willis (Chief aerodynamicist) and Gavin Fisher (Chief Designer) designed the chassis that is being powered by a new BMW 10 engine. Drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya will contest the 2001 season with test driver Marc Gene playing an important role in the FW23's development over the course of the year.
Juan Montoya, FW23, Ralf Schumacher Photo: Gergio Zorbas (FOSA).
For 2001 the BMW WilliamsF1 Team have the challenge of new aerodynamic limitations (the largest change since '97), significantly more rigorous structural and impact tests, a new engine and a new tyre partner in Michelin. Geoff Willis explains: "The FW23 is, in concept, an evolution of the FW22 with developments and improvements for the new engine installation and gearbox and a large number of changes reflecting the impact of the new regulations."
WilliamsF1 team. Photo by Georgio Zorbas (FOSA).
"It is highly unlikely that we will be able to completely close the gap with the established front-runners in our second season with WilliamsF1," says BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger. "But we want to improve our performance so as to be ready and waiting to pounce as soon as one of the Ferraris or McLaren-Mercedes run into problems."
BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen underlines the big step his group of engineers has made: "The new V10 is smaller, lighter and more powerful than last year's engine. Last summer it was running on the dyno for the first time and since December has been running in the car permanently. Engineers are never satisfied but I have to admit that I feel better now than before the start of the 2000 season."
"We had a reasonably successful season, particularly consider ing it was our first with BMW," says Gavin Fisher. "However, it was clear that we still needed to make considerable progress to regularly compete with, and ultimately beat the top teams."