Williams challenger ready to benefit from Mercedes power boost
The car expected to challenge for the runner up spot in this year's world championship has been revealed on the cover of the latest issue of F1 Rac...
The car expected to challenge for the runner up spot in this year's world championship has been revealed on the cover of the latest issue of F1 Racing magazine.
Williams has jumped the queue with the reveal, but will it have enough about it to challenge Mercedes for wins this year and to finish the season ahead of expected rivals Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren?
The new car is shot only from one angle and shows refinements on last year's model, which ended the season in third place, but with stronger form in the closing races than Red Bull.
The rear of the car is shielded in the images and this is likely to be one key area where Williams have looked to find additional performance. The car lacked rear end downforce compared to the Mercedes in low to medium speed corners and this could clearly be seen in races like Abu Dhabi in the lower speed sectors of the lap.
"We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance, " said the team's technical chief Pat Symonds. "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."
He added that one of the biggest headaches had been dealing with the changes to the nose regulations. the Williams pictured still has a small proboscis treatment. It will be interesting to see how many others go the same route.
"Although the aerodynamics of the car were impressive there is always room for improvement particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations," he said.
Mercedes is widely recognised in the industry to have changed its Power unit for the better for 2015 and some sources suggest that the performance gap has actually grown rather than shrunk since last season.
The packaging of the engine is reported to be quite different from last year, indicating a significant amount of development within the permitted 32 tokens rule.
If this is is the case, then Williams is set to be one of the teams to benefit the most.
The team has also attracted new financial backing in the form of former Lotus sponsors Rexona (a Unilever brand) and tech company Avenade as well as clothing supplier Hackett.
Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa will line up once again, with signs in the closing events of 2014 that Massa is back to something near his 2008 form.
The 2015 car can be seen in comparison with the 2014 car below.
Now McLaren gives preview of 2015 design
Sir Frank upbeat about Williams prospects