WilliamsF1 has revealed that it intends to hot the track early with its 2004 Formula One challenger, having set a date in the first week of the New Year to unveil the FW26-BMW.

Having opted to substantially revise its car for 2003, the Grove team struggled to match the pace of either Ferrari or McLaren in the first few races of the season, before coming good later on and challenging for both titles, and intends to give itself almost a month's extra development time with its 2004 machine, which will be launched in Spain on 5 January.

Ironically, 2003 went on to be the Williams-BMW pairing's most successful season to date, as it claimed four grand prix victories - two of which were one-two results - and enjoyed the best reliability record of any team as it claimed second place in the constructors' championship. Determined to build on the performance, preparations
for 2004 are well underway, with the wraps set come off the FW26 during testing in Valencia early in the New Year.

Ralf Schumacher and Juan Montoya are again expected to line up for the team, despite the Colombian having recently been confirmed as a McLaren man for 2005. Marc Gene has already signed on for another year as test and reserve driver.

 

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