Hackers prevented the Williams Formula 1 team from giving fans a first glimpse of their car’s new livery via an augmented reality app on Friday.
Rendered images of the FW43B car were published instead with a predominantly blue, black and white look but few visible sponsors other than those linked to Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi.
The team apologised and said the app had been removed from both the Apple App and Android Google Play stores.
Williams reported: “Williams Racing planned to reveal its 2021 challenger, the FW43B, via an augmented reality app. 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. We can only apologise that this has not been possible.”
British driver George Russell added on Twitter. “It’s a shame the Augmented Reality app got hacked and we couldn’t use it because it was honestly really cool,” said
Williams finished last overall in 2020, when the founding family sold up to U.S.-based Dorilton Capital and left the scene, without scoring a point after also bringing up the rear in 2019.
Russell scored three points when he stood in for seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton at champions Mercedes in Bahrain — meaning he has scored three times as many points as his team in the last two years.
The 2021 cars are substantially similar to last year’s and Williams recognised there was unlikely to be much change in the pecking order until a major regulation change in 2022.