Williams see planned virtual reality FW43B car launch sabotaged by hackers


Williams suffer false start to the season as planned virtual reality car launch is abandoned after ‘hackers’ sabotage app, with attack branded ‘not cool’ by driver George Russell… but team still release new images of their 2021 challenger

  • Williams had planned to launch new FW43B car via a virtual reality app
  • However, planned unveiling was abandoned just an hour before launch
  • The team blamed hackers for the cancellation before unveiling the car images
  • Brit George Russell will hope to score the team’s first points since 2019 this term 

Williams have unveiled their new FW43B car for the season but only after hackers forced them to pull the plug on plans to launch the car via an app.

The Grove outfit had planned to give fans a chance to experience seeing the new car within their homes via an app’s projection technology.

However one hour before the car’s launch on Friday, the team was forced to abandon the concept and put out a statement confirming the cancellation of the virtual reality launch.  

Williams have unveiled the FW43B that will compete during the 2021 Formula One  season

The images were released just minutes after the team were forced to abandon their VR launch

The images were released just minutes after the team were forced to abandon their VR launch 

‘Williams Racing planned to reveal its 2021 challenger, the FW43B, via an augmented reality app later today (5th March),’ a statement read.

‘However, sadly, because the app was hacked prior to launch, this will no longer be possible.

‘We have subsequently removed the app from both the Apple App Store and Android Google Play store.

‘We were very much looking forward to sharing this experience with our fans, particularly during this difficult time when being able to bring in-person experiences directly to our fans is sadly not possible.’  

Hackers had sabotaged an app preventing the virtual reality launch on Friday

Hackers had sabotaged an app preventing the virtual reality launch on Friday

Williams released images of the FW43B on Twitter, with the car undergoing a livery change

Williams released images of the FW43B on Twitter, with the car undergoing a livery change

George Russell who will drive for the team for a third straight season admitted his disappointment at fans not being able to see the experience having previewed the technology. 

‘Massive shame. I’ve seen the app and it was going to be an awesome experience for you guys. Whoever did this, seriously not cool’, the Brit tweeted.

Although the virtual launch was abandoned the team still released the images of the car which has a brand new livery following last season’s more white based design, with blue streaks as well as yellow trim added to the car, to reflect on the team’s heritage.

However the machine itself is only an update on the FW43 car raced last year as the team look ahead to the new rules and regulations coming into place for the 2022 campaign.

British driver George Russell will be hoping to score his first Williams points in F1 this term

British driver George Russell will be hoping to score his first Williams points in F1 this term

The car is an updated on the FW43 that ran in 2020 (above) and saw the team score zero points

The car is an updated on the FW43 that ran in 2020 (above) and saw the team score zero points

Despite pace improvements on the 2019 campaign, the team went the whole season without scoring a point and will be desperate to end their drought which stretches back to the 2019 German Grand Prix when Robert Kubica scored the team’s only point of the season with a 10th place finish. 

Russell will this season team up with Canadian Nicholas Latifi at Williams again as the team look to finally crack the top 10 once again. 

Williams have struggled keeping pace with rivals in recent years finishing bottom of the constructors’ championship for the past three seasons.

Last summer, the team’s founder Sir Frank Williams sold the F1 operation to US investment firm Dorilton Capital with his daughter Claire Williams relinquishing her role as the de facto team principal.