The BMW WilliamsF1 Team unveiled its 2004 race car, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26, at the Valencia circuit, Spain today [Monday].
After a ceremonial presentation for assembled press, the inaugural laps will be completed by team drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya later this afternoon.
"I have tested some of the new elements of the FW26," commented Schumacher, "And individually, they all have been a real step forward, whether the engine, the new gearbox, or all the other smaller but none the less significant components. So I am really fascinated to see how all of this works together, and it would be fair to say that my expectations are very high."
Schumacher's enthusiasm was matched by his team-mate, Juan Pablo Montoya.
"We had a great deal of anticipation about last year's car, and it turned out to be justified anticipation," noted JPM. "This season, there is an even greater degree of expectation about the potential of this car, and the great advance the team has made is to bring the whole validation process forward by a significant amount.
"I hope the car will be quick from the off, but now we have the benefit of a clear two month test programme in Spain before the first race."
Following the FW26's launch, a major test programme with the new chassis will commence between 7-13 January at Jerez.
Team principal Frank Williams said that the was only one goal for 2004.
“Our ambition can be nothing other than winning the most races, stealing Ferrari's crown and adding another championship title to the record," he insisted, "Having any less ambition at the start of the year would be wrong.”