THE WILLIAMS COSWORTH FW33
1 February 2011. Grove, UK. In a recent interview, Rubens Barrichello described this year's Williams-Cosworth FW33 as "aggressive". It's a sentiment shared by technical director Sam Michael, who talks today about the team's 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship entry, the Williams Cosworth FW33, as it makes its track debut in Valencia this morning.
"Until you start testing," says Sam, "you're never sure how you're going to stack up against the opposition, but we're optimistic. We think this is a good car, but we'll have a better overall picture in a few weeks time."
New rules, which were only confirmed by the FIA's World Motorsport Council in June 2010, compelled Williams F1's technical team to take an innovative approach to its new car. The ban on double diffusers and the F-duct forced the aerodynamicists to seek new downforce solutions; KERS had to be incorporated into the layout and the team had to prepare for the arrival of a new tyre supplier, Pirelli, for the first time in five years.
"The design of this year's car has been pretty smooth," continues Sam. "We've improved our way of working by increasing the communication between the mechanical and aerodynamic departments, and that improved our decision making processes. It allowed us to increase the optimisation time spent on each part of the car."
The car seen at today's Valencia test is the first iteration of the FW33. This 'launch spec' will be replaced by an aero upgrade at the first race in Bahrain and there will be many others during the course of the year.