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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2004
Numbers built:7
Predecessor:Williams FW25 BMW
Successor:Williams FW27 BMW
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Williams FW26 has a tough act to follow. Its predecessor was widely acknowledged as the class of the 2003 field, not by a long way, but certainly was a significantly faster race car than its rivals once it was optimised. In response, the FW26 was launched and evolved earlier, to extend and accelerate the post-launch development phase. The car design itself represents another step change, in fact the second in as many seasons. This process is challenging and more demanding than iterating an already successful design, but the results, as 2003 proved, provide a compelling reason for taking this course with car development. Under the guidance of Chief Designer, Gavin Fisher, the radical design will be immediately apparent when the FW26 first breaks cover.

The BMW P84 engine has been designed for the 2004 season under the management of Heinz Paschen, Head of BMW Formula One Development. The concept of the engine is based on its successful predecessor, the P83, but all the components have been modified to respond to the new regulations - using the engine over the entire weekend means doubling the life of the engine to 800 kilometres. The goal is to achieve endurance and performance for the substantially greater distances involved. Ingenious and detailed solutions mean that dimensions and weights in spite of the rule changes, have remained virtually the same. Work on the new three-litre V10 cylinder, again with 90 degree bank angle, began in November 2002. Test rig trials were conducted in the summer of 2003, as were the first track tests.

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  Article Image gallery (8) Specifications