January 31, 2002
BMW Williams shows new F1 car at Silverstone
Northamptonshire, England – The BMW WilliamsF1 Team unveiled their new Formula One car, the FW24, at Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire, England last week. Team drivers Ralf Schumacher (GER) and Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) will contest the 2002 season with test drivers Marc Gené (ESP) and Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) playing an important role in the FW24’s development over the course of the season.
The alliance between Williams and BMW is now into its third year. “After four commanding victories, four pole positions and eight lap records in our second year together, our expectations for the third season are high,” said Team Principal Frank Williams. “We have great hopes for our new chassis, the FW24, and for the new P82 BMW engine,” he continued. “Beyond that, we’ve got the strongest team of drivers. Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are different personalities with different driving styles, but their goals are identical,” he concluded.
BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger elaborated, “Such a strong driver line up will be a real catalyst to push us on. My expectation is that the drivers will enjoy a closely matched degree of success during the year. Juan will be better on some circuits, Ralf on others. Both of them have proved they can win Grand Prix races.”
Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director reflected, “On circuits where engine performance was the deciding factor, we were a force to be reckoned with in 2001. Defending this status while at the same time improving our reliability are our key objectives for 2002.”
Patrick Head, WilliamsF1 Technical Director confirmed, “If you know in advance that on some circuits you’re not going to win on your own merits, then the car isn’t good enough. Further improving the aerodynamics and reliability were our primary goals when it came to the FW24.”
A team led by Gavin Fisher, the Chief Designer, designed the FW24 chassis in Grove, while the engine was designed at the BMW F1 factory in Munich under the guidance of Dr Werner Laurenz, Director of F1 Development. The design team at WilliamsF1 worked with a completely new BMW engine, the P82, which required the development of a new gearbox, and associated changes to the remainder of the drivetrain. “The design work we have done in conjunction with BMW has further optimised the engine installation. As always, we are striving to minimise weight and package volume, providing consequential gains in car dynamics and aero systems efficiency,” said Fisher.