Williams driver George Russell has described the FW43 as a “definite improvement” on last year’s FW42, which spent the entire season running at the back of the pack, scoring just a single point.
Williams’ start to the 2020 season is night and day compared to last year, when the team failed to make the first test and then spent much of the second test fixing problems.
However Russell was able to head out immediately on the first day of testing on Wednesday and completed 73 laps with a time putting him sixth quickest during the morning.
Speaking about the FW43, Russell said: “It’s feeling good and it’s definitely an improvement on last year. It’s difficult to get a read so far but from within it feels nice to drive.
“Obviously lap times are the important thing and we’ll only know by the end of next week how that is. But it’s definitely faster than it was this time last year because this time last year the car was in bits. That’s one bonus.”
Following last year’s troubles, Russell said it was important to head out first and get some laps under their belt to restore some confidence.
“We had an intense morning planned and to get everything in it was important to get out from the beginning. Also off the back of last year it was psychologically important for all of us and for everybody who has worked day and night back at the factory to see their car go out first.
“From the struggles of last year, it was incredibly tough times for the people back at Grove last year, when they are working absolutely flat out to try and make things ready and work in double time. So it was a relief for all of us and now we can get cracking with our test programme.
“Last year was far from ideal and the team have done a really great job to achieve that and the build quality of the car is a much [higher] standard compared to last year. Things fit properly and the car looks better from a design perspective, so I think overall it’s been a very positive morning.
“Everybody was a bit lost year because they had no work to do with no car here. They are excited for the new season. It was definitely a character-building year and I’m confident we can go racing this year and have a bit more fun than last year and that’s what we are all hoping for.”