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Following the recent official unveiling of the new WilliamsF1 BMW FW26 in Valencia, Spain, the 2004 challenger has taken to the track for the very first time.
Both BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers expressed enthusiasm for the 2004 season as they unveiled their new challenger. “I have already tested some of the new elements of the FW26,“ commented Ralf Schumacher, “Individually, they have all been a real step forward, whether the new engine, the new gearbox, or all the other smaller, but none the less significant, components. I am therefore really fascinated to see how the package comes together, and it would be fair to say that my expectations are very high.”
Juan Pablo Montoya added: “I hope the car will be quick from the off, but we now have the benefit of a clear two month test programme in Spain before the season actually starts.” The first few laps of the Valencia circuit marked the start of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team’s official challenge for the 2004 Formula One World Championship titles.
At 14:40, Juan Pablo headed out of the pits in the new WilliamsF1 BMW FW26 and completed one installation lap. After the BMW WilliamsF1 Team performed a function check, the Colombian returned to the track and completed a further three laps before heading back to the pits, only to return out onto the track a few minutes later to continue the shake down. He recorded 14 laps altogether on the 4.005 kilometre circuit, before handing over the car to his team-mate Ralf Schumacher. The German completed a total of three laps. With the inaugural laps completed, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will head to Jerez to commence their two month, pre-season testing schedule on Wednesday.
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