First laps for FW26 at Valencia

In the bright Spanish sunshine and average temperatures of 15° C, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher completed the maiden laps of the team's new challenger for the 2004 Formula One World Championship, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26. The radical new...

In the bright Spanish sunshine and average temperatures of 15° C, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher completed the maiden laps of the team's new challenger for the 2004 Formula One World Championship, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26. The radical new design of the FW26, especially the snub nose and front wing geometry, attracted widespread commentary.

The new WilliamsF1 BMW FW26.
Photo by Sutton Motorsport Images.
Juan Pablo Montoya left the garage at 14:40hrs and recorded 14 laps altogether on the 4.005 km circuit, before handing over the car to team-mate, Ralf Schumacher. The German started driving at 16:34hrs and completed a total of 3 laps.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"My first impression of the FW26 is very good. The car doesn't feel a lot different from last year's, which is a very god start and I think we have an excellent potential car. I felt comfortable straight away and could push the car from the outset, so thanks us due to the team for having built a very promising car."

"In spite of the restrictions imposed by the new rules, which give you less drag and make the car more difficult under braking, everything feels just right. The dusty track conditions were not 100% ideal today and we only completed six hard laps, so I don't want to sound too optimistic, but there isn't a single area that doesn't work. I am very, very pleased, I think this car has got a good future."

Ralf Schumacher:

"It is always positive if the first day runs according to plan and I can say that the car feels good, perhaps similar to the FW25. I really have high expectations of the radical approach taken to this new car."

"Of course the roll out on launch day does not tell us much about the true performance of a new car and I only completed three laps. Basically it is all about installation laps and system checks, so it is far too early to make serious comments about the FW26."

The team will be now continuing its testing programme from 7th to 13th January in Jerez (Marc Gen? all days except 10, Juan Pablo 7-10, Ralf Schumacher 10-13).

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams