FW45 livery reveals Gulf Oil International Partnership

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Williams Racing has unveiled the team’s FW45 livery for the 2023 Formula One season. However, the news which is certain to hit the headlines is that Williams Racing also announced a multi-year partnership with Gulf Oil International, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oils and lubricants – and a brand known globally for its association with motorsport.


Williams Racing took the all too familiar approach of modern day Formula One by showing off the livery of the FW45 as opposed to the 2023 car itself. At a time when the pinnacle of motorsport is bigger than ever, it is little surprise to see teams keeping their cards close to their chest before the FW45 will hit the track at Silverstone on 13th February. On this day, both race drivers, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, will undertake the driving.

However, the launch also brought with it the news of showcasing the team’s new major partners:  Stephens, Michelob ULTRA and PureStream who all join the team from the 2023 season. But the announcement of Gulf Oil being onboard is sure to steal the headlines and capture the imagination.

Formula One is very much a team sport and the morale of a team back at the factory will no doubt impact the performance on track. During the virtual press conference to launch the FW45 livery and announce the Gulf Oil partnership, Pit Debrief was able to ask Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Racing, Dave Robson, what the impact has been like at Grove since all staff from the mechanics through to the backroom staff heard that their team is now associated with the legendary motorsport brand of Gulf Oil. One would assume it is news to make any fan of motorsport smile.

“We’ve all reacted exactly as you’ve described.”

The feeling of excitement was already highlighted in Alex Albon’s remarks in the Williams Racing press release as he stated: “I’m really excited to be starting back for another year with the team. The car looks great and will hit the track at Silverstone. The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do.” 

Meanwhile the team’s rookie racer Logan Sargeant commented: “I’m really excited for the season to get started after what, for me, feels like a long winter! I’m super motivated and we’ve put a lot of hard work in. The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off season, so I’m looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain.” 

Unfortunately, for now at least, anyone who had been hoping to see a Gulf Oil livery echo that of McLaren’s one-off creation from the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix would be disappointed. Instead, the 2023 livery design is described as ‘an evolution of the FW44, retaining the brand visual cues which features a contrasting diamond shape and flashes of red and blue, embodying the exciting new era of Williams Racing.’


Even though the look of the actual FW45 itself was not shared at the launch – the technical specifications were. This information supports the fact that the 2023 challenger is an evolution of the team’s entry from last season. The press releasee announced:


“The floor edges have been raised to satisfy the updated 2023 FIA Technical Regulations and the team has taken the opportunity to heavily evolve the sidepod concept, which has been made possible by optimising the power unit cooling layout. There are also modifications to the front suspension layout as well as the major external aerodynamic surfaces. As a result, the FW45 is more aerodynamically efficient than the FW44, with more overall downforce and improved handling characteristics. The 2023 Pirelli tyres are an evolution of the 2022 version and the FW45 is optimised to the improved characteristics of the new tyres.”

Meanwhile, Team Principal at Williams Racing, James Vowles, was unable to attend the FW45 livery launch as he only joins the team on 20th February. However, the remarks from Matthew Savage, Chairman of the Board for Williams Racing showed that the team with 16 FIA Formula One World Championship titles since its foundation in 1977 is aware it is still in a transition stage:

“As Williams Racing continues its transformation, we’re proud to unveil this year’s livery. We are excited about this year’s car, and I cannot thank the entire team at Grove enough for their hard work to get ready for the season.” 

In the end it will all come down to performance and Pit Debrief asked Dave Robson for his thoughts on how he feels his team will perform in 2023.

“Expectations for the season, well, I think that will obviously depend on what everyone else has been up to which is out of our control. We’re reasonably pleased with the steps we’ve taken…overall, really excited for the season ahead.” Robson stated.

As a result, these comments present a positive outlook which will no doubt bring a smile to the face of any Williams Racing fan eager to see their team back battling in the midfield…and beyond.