Williams entered 2005 with some optimism, but although their car appeared to have all the right features, a mismatch between their wind tunnel results and the car's true on-track performance wrecked their early season. It again fell to a long hard season of continued development to bring the team back to form.
Having worked out the issues between the team's two wind tunnels, the parting with BMW and Michelin has left the team with another tough development programme. The loss of Gavin Fisher, the team's long-standing chief designer, again broke up the continuity; with Fisher replaced by ex-BAR man Jorg Zander.
The parting with BMW in particular has returned the team to their independent "garagiste" roots, and the supply of Cosworth engines also echoes their past.
Last week, Frank Williams and Patrick rolled out their new car, the FW28. Designed under the new technical management and with a new engine and tyres, the car is a departure in many respects from the FW27. While certain details of the aerodynamics bear resemblance to the older car, the inevitable pre-Bahrain upgrade will see new bodywork and thereafter a new gearbox.