Williams could introduce an upgrade for its FW43B car as early as the first race of the 2021 Formula 1 season, with the team set to trial different options during testing.

The British squad is gearing up for its first full season under the ownership of American investment firm Dorilton Capital and a heavily-revised senior management team spearheaded by new CEO Jost Capito.

Following his appointment as team principal on a full-time basis, Simon Roberts revealed Williams is already benefiting from its fresh investment and will have a series of updates to try out in Bahrain pre-season testing, which takes place this week between 12-14 March.

“The development plan for the 43B is an interesting topic because we’re trying to now design and develop the car for 22, which is an enormous change,” Roberts said at the launch of Williams’ 2021 challenger.

“It’s a complete new set of regulations, with no carryover, but it’s also an opportunity because we have done some work on this car.

“Interestingly, we’ve got a few options that we’re taking to Bahrain to the test. It’s almost a first race upgrade, which is really really cool, I’m really excited about that. And we actually have got an upgrade plan through the year.

“But it’s going to be pretty modest and I expect like other teams we’ll be looking very carefully at how we put our resource on that.”

Roberts confirmed that George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will each get the opportunity to run both options during testing before the team decides on which route to use for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March. 

“We are going with a range of parts that will get on the car which is great, it is a nice position to be in,” he added. “Both drivers will get to try both options and we have enough parts around us to convert stock for the race.

“So it could be a first race upgrade. It would be a nice place to be, depending on which one we choose.”

While Roberts refused to divulge exactly where Williams had opted to spend its permitted development tokens, he admitted that the Grove-outfit only had one left to use after carrying out some early development in 2020.

Roberts also revealed that Williams had carried out a “huge amount of work under the skin” of the FW43B to reduce weight, and he believes the team now has a “great foundation” to work with heading into the new season.

“We haven’t missed a single opportunity,” he explained. “We’ve taken weight wherever we can, safety is paramount, that’s always on the back of our mind.

"Obviously some things are homologated, but there’s still plenty of opportunity. Compared to where we were last year when we started, you know we worked really really hard last year and managed to get the car to where it needed to be from a weight point of view.

“It’s really good being able to start this year with ballast on the car, basically. That’s great, it gives us some scope for upgrades, some scope to move weight distribution around within the regulations.

“It’s just one of those things we don’t have to worry about anymore, it’s a great foundation for the year ahead.”