The livery that the Williams FW43B will wear this year leaked ahead of time through a VR app which featured 3D renderings of the cars in the F1 series. The leaks showed off the final look and I did a double take when I saw its glorious wheels.
Some app users took screenshots of the machine and it was posted on Reddit ahead of the official unveil from Williams. But leaks aside, the livery looks great! I think it’s my favorite of this year’s grid because Williams is nodding to some iconic cars with its color palette and because I can’t get enough of its five-spokes.
The wheels are not exactly like those from the iconic FW14B, which Williams says they drew inspiration from for this machine, but the construction is similar and it’s objectively true that five-spoke wheels are the best wheels. Lose yourself in this static image of the wheel and imagine the vortex from those five-spokes in motion:
Again, it’s still an updated wheel design, which you can see in the hollow spokes but it’s still got a retro vibe that I’m digging hard.
And the rest of the F1 car follows that updated heritage theme from the wheels up. The Williams team elaborated on the inspiration in a statement to the FIA where it shouted out its old F1 cars:
Whilst evolutionary on the technical side due to the regulations, hence the designation FW43B as opposed to the FW44, the 2021 car will race with a dramatic new visual identity sporting a livery inspired by Williams’ all-conquering cars of the 1980s and 1990s, combining blues, white and yellow accents.
Those color accents are most prominent on this new F1 car’s nose but it also has a multilayered finish on its engine cover vaguely similar to the layering from the older cars. Though, the new one has a cool perspective effect going on. When you look at the Williams F1 car’s profile the engine cover seems to have a rectilinear fading finish in some pretty rad blue hues.
But when you look at the F1 car head-on, or from an elevated viewpoint, the fading lines follow the contours of its body and seem wavy!
I think the FW43B does the best job this year at producing a cohesive design from both the actual body and the livery its wearing. It goes to show how much you can get out of taking both of these into account for the final product.
This awesome machine “will be raced [...] this season by British driver George Russell and Canadian Nicholas Latifi,” according to the statement from the FIA and even if the Williams drivers can’t outpace the big spenders on the grid, they’re going to look damn fine trying.