Gavin Fisher, BMW Williams' Chief Designer, and Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer, spoke at today's Williams launch about the new FW24. Naturally they consider the car is another step forward and one that Michael considers as big a step as...
Gavin Fisher, BMW Williams' Chief Designer, and Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer, spoke at today's Williams launch about the new FW24. Naturally they consider the car is another step forward and one that Michael considers as big a step as they took in previous years for engine development.
"My impression is that the step they took between the 2000 and 2001 engine, they've taken the same kind of leap between 2001 and 2002," Michael said. They've gone through the many potential benefits of the group performance but obviously the associated risks as well. But there's no doubt, as Mario (Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director) said, he considers it's an evolution because fundamentally the concept is similar. There's no doubt they've pushed really hard."
Speaking about the development of the car, Fisher admitted that there
needed to be improvements in competitiveness from last year's car:
"It's not one particular weakness (that needs work) and it's easy for the media to try and single out one particular item. It's the consequence of a number of reasons, part of it inherent in the car's design and I think it's widely known that we've suffered more at the circuits requiring higher downforce."
Expanding on these reasons, Fisher continued:
"But there's more to it than that. There's issues associated with the set-up of the car, other aspects of design as well, the way we use the tyres. We need to address all of these issues. To try and pursue one at the compromise of others would leave you falling short."
With McLaren opting for Michelin as their tyre supplier for 2002, will this
be detrimental to Williams' challenge?
"It brings with it benefits, and I think the majority are benefits, and some detriments in the sense that Michelin have to associate the requirements of two very different teams. But we in general look on it as a very positive thing and we're hopeful it will accelerate Michelin's development programme, which fundamentally is in our own interest," Fisher said.