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Williams gears up for F1 season

updated 3:01 PM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
Pastor Maldonado took the new Williams for a spin at Barcelona on February 19 following the launch at Circuit de Catalunya. Pastor Maldonado took the new Williams for a spin at Barcelona on February 19 following the launch at Circuit de Catalunya.
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F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
F1 teams unveil 2013 cars
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Williams unveiled new FW35 at Barcelona Tuesday
  • Pastor Maldonado took the new car for a spin around Circuit de Catalunya
  • Williams confident new car will help team compete at the front end of the grid
  • Mercedes star Nico Rosberg the fastest man on the track on first day of testing

(CNN) -- Williams unveiled its new car for the 2013 season on the first day of testing at Barcelona Tuesday with renewed ambition following a complete transformation of last season's vehicle.

The Renault-powered FW35 "is an evolution of the FW34 of 2012, it's better and more refined, with more than 80 percent new parts," Williams' technical director Mike Coughlan told reporters.

Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado gave the team its first win in seven-and-a-half years when he triumphed at last season's Spanish Grand Prix.

Maldonado, who is entering his third season with Williams, will be joined in the paddock by 23-year-old Finn Valtteri Bottas, who replaced Bruno Senna.

Read: Raikkonen on a roll at Jerez

Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his team and admirers after a pulsating race at Interlagos in Brazil. But where does the Red Bull driver rank in the pantheon of F1's virtuosos? Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his team and admirers after a pulsating race at Interlagos in Brazil. But where does the Red Bull driver rank in the pantheon of F1's virtuosos?
Case for greatness
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How good is Sebastian Vettel? How good is Sebastian Vettel?
Click here to return to the story. Click here to return to the story.
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Senna vs. Fangio: Who is the greatest? Senna vs. Fangio: Who is the greatest?
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were long-time rivals before they became teammates at McLaren. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were long-time rivals before they became teammates at McLaren.
Winning pair
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United in rivalry: Prost and Senna United in rivalry: Prost and Senna

Team owner Frank Williams is confident that his team will be ready to compete at the front of the grid when the season starts in Australia on March 17.

Williams told reporters: "A talented group of people with lots of imagination worked hard to produce the FW35.

"We believe it represents a step forward to last year's car which was already very competitive."

Read: 'Identikit' 2013 season

Meanwhile, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg clocked the fastest time of the day at 1 minute 22.616 seconds.

The German edged out Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finishing third fastest.

Alonso, who is chasing a third world title, recorded a fastest time of 1 minute 22.952 seconds.

Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel finished three tenths of a second slower than Rosberg after leading the time charts following the morning session.

Read: Vettel revs up for glory

Rosberg told the Mercedes website: "We had a mixed day today with some laps lost this morning. However we were able to work through a good program this afternoon and, of course, it's always nice to be quickest at the end of the day.

"In general, I feel happy and comfortable in the car and it feels better than the last time we were here at this track. There is still some work to be done on tire degradation and our program this afternoon was helpful in understanding that."

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