New aero approach paying dividends at Williams


By Andrew Hooper
August 13 2019

The 2019 Formula One season has seen the ROKiT Williams team struggle with a season that started badly with the FW42 been late for testing followed by the realisation that the 2019 car lacked the expected pace. As the season has progressed the team has struggled to find pace from the difficult car and it has taken up to the recent Hungarian Grand Prix that the team would see a glimmer of an improvement coming  from updates that were first introduced in Germany. In an interview Claire Williams spoke of the teams hard work and this lift in performance.

 
 New aero approach paying dividends at Williams
 
Claire Williams
 

The 2019 Formula One season has seen the ROKiT Williams team struggle with a season that started badly with the FW42 been late for testing followed by the realisation that the 2019 car lacked the expected pace and was in actual fact worse than the 2018 car.

As the season has progressed the team has struggled to find pace from the difficult car and it has taken up to the recent Hungarian Grand Prix that the team would see a glimmer of an improvement coming  from updates that were first introduced in Germany. This lift in performance would see the team have one of their drivers come close to making it into the second period of qualifying as well as for the first time actually be in a position to race other teams.

For Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams this step forward has come from dedicated work within the team in particular the aerodynamics department who has been had at work behind the scenes assessing the shortcomings of the FW42 and developing updates that would take the car in a new direction.

The Williams team has been under immense pressure to turn their season around and the team has been hard at work assessing the FW42's mechanical and aerodynamic issues of which there were many.

IN an interview fro Formula1.com Claire would discuss the issues of the car and what the team has been doing to address them. Claire would say: "There have been a lot of mechanical upgrades or improvements, etc – work that’s been going on that you may not necessarily have seen – that has really helped stabilise the car and give the drivers greater confidence."

"A lot of work has gone into some of those components. But then obviously we needed to focus on aero performance as well because that’s where we were really down after the winter.

"But through putting in this new approach that we did last year, we always knew that was going to take some time to come to fruition."

The most important factor for the Williams team is that the updates that have been rolled out over the last few races have provided the team with valuable data to verify the fact that their work back at the factory was achieving what it was aimed for out on the track.

"I think the bargeboard probably showed us that the direction that the aero group are taking is the right one – we’ve been waiting quite a long time to see whether it is," added Claire.

"We have fantastic correlation between the track and the tunnel.

"The work that the aero group have done on rakes for example, on simulation work – the direction they’ve taken in that work alone – has really helped move the dial forward for us from an aero perspective."

When asked whether the recent step forward in performance in Hungary was in actual fact that turning point for the team after having struggled at the rear of the field for so long.

Claire said: "I think George has explained it as taking five steps back to move 10 steps forward.

"It definitely feels like that and it has been a long wait to be able to see it, but we knew we were going to have to wait if we were going to see the benefit.

"You can get a bit lost in a loop sometimes in aero, so it was a case of taking those steps back and now I think we’re definitely seeing that we can move forward, hopefully quickly.

"It certainly feels that we are in a much better position than we’ve been and it’s now just about continuing that development path that we’re on and hoping we can continue to close down the gap to P9."

 

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