Williams aim for more Improvement in 2015
As the countdown to the new F1 season continues, there is no doubt that there is one event that makes our heart beat that little bit faster. It’s the first sight of the cars that are going to thrill us for the rest of the year.
For fans of the Williams team, that acceleration of your heartbeat happened this week as they unveiled their car for the 2015 F1 season. It’s an important season for Williams because after some difficult seasons in recent times, they have something to build on this time around. Last year they were the most improved F1 team and finished third behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
So can they improve even further this season and somehow close the gap between themselves and the all-conquering Mercedes? It may be a new car and a new year but Williams have the same team of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
This time around though the car isn’t under the minimum required weight as was the case with last year’s version. As for the engine, they again have the Mercedes turbo hybrid engine that served them so well in 2014.
Team owner Sir Frank Williams sounded pretty positive when discussing the new car: “We are aiming to replicate this development over the winter and to start the 2015 season in a strong position. Everybody has worked tirelessly to continue that climb up the grid.”
The aim is to get more podiums in 2015 so confidence doesn’t seem to be there that they can actually challenge for the title this season. “Consolidation and incremental improvement” is the name of the game according to Chief technical officer Pat Symonds.
So what’s different about the FW37 car? The nose has been re-designed but that’s mainly down to the revised rules that mean the ‘anteater’ noses went the same way as double points. The main task therefore is to make up for the fact it’s going to be harder to extract aerodynamic performances from the front of the car. The new car has a smaller tip and protrudes from a square section.
That weight issue also has to be addressed and there’s less ballast than last season. Symonds told reporters: “The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass.”
Hopefully all the work carried out will pay off and we can see Williams continuing the improvement they showed last season.
Finally this week an update on one of the items reported last week. You may remember Honda weren’t happy about not being able to develop its engine during the upcoming season. Well F1’s governing body have now backtracked on their decision and Honda will be able to upgrade their engine during the season as well as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari.
The three other teams can change up to 48% of the engines they used last year by the end of this season. Just how much Honda can develop their engine hasn’t been confirmed but a significant amount of development looks likely.