Here is your Williams Formula 1 FW46, the car Anglo-Thai driver Alex Albon and American driver Logan Sergeant will campaign over the 2024 season. Ex-Mercedes man James Vowles took over as Williams team principal at the end of 2022, this will be the first car created under his oversight. Williams, after a brief run of seasons at the back of the grid, finished seventh of 10 teams in the 2023 Constructor’s Championship; the new logo on the FW46 sidepods could be a better read on the livery than the color scheme. The team signed Japanese manufacturing conglomerate Komatsu to a multi-year partnership, the two enterprises having worked together in the 1980s and 1990s, when Komatsu provided gearsets for Williams transmissions.
There’s enough success in Williams’ short buildup so far, in fact, that the team launched at sneaker company Puma’s Fifth Avenue store in New York City instead of the far more humble testing-day garage reveal it’s limited itself to recently. As for the colors, they’re mostly the same shade of dark blue as last year, offset by carbon fiber and Duracell’s gold branding. The red and white pinstripes from front to back, as with the Komatsu deal, look back to historic Williams cars like the FW10 that Nigel Mansell drove in 1997 and the FW19 that Jacques Villeneuve drove to the Driver’s Championship in 1997.
This is still a stepping-stone car, though, Williams bringing in new chief technical officer Pat Fry only last July — Vowles’ first big hire — and continues to upgrade its engineering and testing facilities. The FW46 gets its first shakedown on Feb. 20 during a promotional filming day, the proper runs beginning on Feb. 21 on the first official testing day of the season.