(from BMW Press Release) In the
bright Spanish sunshine, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher complete
the maiden laps of the team's new challenger for the 2004 Formula One
World Championship, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26. The radical new design of
the FW26 attracted widespread commentary for its new nose design and
front wing geometry.
Juan Pablo Montoya recorded 14 laps altogether on the 4.005-kilometer
circuit at Valencia, before handing over the car to teammate, Ralf
Schumacher. The German completed a total of 3 laps.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"My first impression of the FW26 is very good. The car doesn't feel a
lot different from last year's, which is a very good start and I think
we have an excellent potential car. I felt comfortable right away and
could push the car from the outset, so thanks to the team for having
built a very promising car."
"In spite of the restrictions imposed by the new rules, which give you
less drag and make the car more difficult under braking, everything
feels just right. The dusty track conditions were not 100% ideal today
and we only completed six hard laps, so I don't want to sound too
optimistic, but there isn't a single area that doesn't work. I am very,
very pleased, I think this car has got a good future."
"It is always positive if the first day runs according to plan and I can
say that the car feels good, perhaps similar to the FW25. I really have
high expectations of the radical approach taken to this new car."
"Of course, the roll out on launch day does not tell us much about the
true performance of a new car and I only completed three laps. Basically
it is all about installation laps and system checks, so it is far too
early to make serious comments about the FW26."