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
"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
"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."