The details that make Williams' new car worth a second look

The new Williams FW43B is clearly an evolution of last year's Formula 1 car, with most of the design shown in the renders being carried over from its predecessor, but there are some details worthy of our attention.

The details that make Williams' new car worth a second look

The first aspect of note is the FW43B’s front wing, which has been updated to take into account the regulation changes elsewhere on the car imposed by the FIA for 2021.

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The mainplane is once again divided into two full length sections but now features a curved section where it meets with the neutral central section, which will be used to augment the Y250 vortex that’s shed from here.

Williams FW43B detail

Williams FW43B detail

Photo by: Williams

The tips of the flaps that reside above this section have also been altered too, with their design altered to have their own effect on the vortex and change how that flow is received downstream.

The sidepod deflectors carry the same DNA as their predecessors and while last year's arrangement was disconnected from the horizontal pod vane, it now arches over to meet it, framing the sidepod’s shoulder.

Williams FW43B detail

Williams FW43B detail

Photo by: Williams

The main deflector element is still broken into three sections like its predecessor, but now these elements reach to the bottom of the assembly as the bridging elements don’t have the L-shaped tails anymore.

The FW43 saw Williams move towards a sidepod shape with a downwash component, so it’s no surprise to see further development here. The FW43B’s sidepods exaggerate this, with the distinctive ramp that follows the contours of the radiators housed within retained, but slimmed according to the cooling required for the Mercedes-AMG F1 M12 E power unit.

Williams FW43B

Williams FW43B

Photo by: Williams

The sidepod’s ramped section meets with the floor at a point where it should help to mitigate some of the losses associated with the new narrower section. This should also help to direct the airflow into the coke bottle region, which will also be aided by the high waisted cooling outlet above.

The renders also show the FW43B fitted with a prominent sidepod cooling chimney beside the rear feet of the halo. This is usually an interchangeable panel, with a decision made on what cooling is needed for the circuit configuration. But this design would suggest that it’s going to be a permanent fixture on this year's car.

Perhaps one of the most interesting takeaways is the engine cover bodywork. Both Mercedes and Aston Martin have really pushed the boundaries with contouring and require a bodywork blister to cover the power unit, but the FW34B’s bodywork is just generally much bulkier in this region.

Williams FW43B

Williams FW43B

Photo by: Williams

The floor shown in the renders features the new mandatory diagonal cutout ahead of the rear wheels and a small strake on the floor’s periphery and a larger curved one inboard, with the two appearing to create a collector to funnel the flow into the channel beside the diffuser.

Housed in this channel are a row of fins, which aren’t new but will assist in protecting the diffuser from flow ingress created by the rear tyre alongside it.

Williams FW43B detail

Williams FW43B detail

Photo by: Williams

The rear wing also has a new design feature in the upper front corner of the endplate, with surface contouring allowing the team to install another small upwash strike that should have an impact on the tip vortex generated by the wing.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen it, as Aston Martin boasts a similar solution, meaning it will likely be studied quickly by rivals and likely find its way onto other cars up and down the grid in short order.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Author Matt Somerfield
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