Williams needed "two steps back for three forward" with FW42

Williams had to effectively make “two steps back before we made three steps forward” after returning to “basic principles” with its 2019 Formula 1 car.

Williams needed "two steps back for three forward" with FW42

The British team slumped to the back of the grid in 2018 and has suffered an even worse 2019 so far, as its car has proven well off the pace and left its drivers adrift of even the midfield battle.

However, Williams has stated this season it has confidence that the base of the 2019 car is a fundamental improvement from last year, and it just needs to be aggressively developed.

Rookie driver George Russell said during the previous grand prix weekend in Britain: “It’s a step-by-step process for us at the moment. The team had a very difficult year last year.

“They wanted to change a lot of the structure and it was almost that we had to make two steps back before we made three steps forward.

“The groundworks are kind of in place at the moment to try to bring more performance to the car as the season progresses and I’ve got confident we can do that.”

Doug McKiernan joined Williams early in 2018 and assumed lead aerodynamic responsibilities after head of aero Dirk de Beer left a few months into the season.

McKiernan has effectively led the technical side since chief technical officer Paddy Lowe went on leave after pre-season testing – and eventually left entirely.

“It is obvious to anybody that, with F1 being such an aero dominated sport anyway, we are down on downforce and we need to do more work to achieve that,” said deputy team principal Claire Williams.

“But we went through a huge change in aero last year and bringing in a new chief aerodynamicist in Doug McKiernan who bought in a whole new philosophy to how we go about bringing aero performance to the car.

“When you do that it is inevitably going to take some time to bed in. You will almost go back to basic principles, which is in effect what the whole of aero did last year, and they needed some more time.

“I think we are now seeing our aero performance curve go on an upward trajectory which is really good to see.”

Williams has more upgrades planned for the coming races, which could move it closer to the midfield battle but will be important for the development of the 2020 car as well.

Read Also:

Senior race engineer Dave Robson characterised that development as: “A lot of the upgrades were already in the pipeline before we went to winter testing.

“Of course, the car is quite a long way behind where the wind tunnel is, and the vast majority of upgrades are aero-based as you’d expect in modern F1. It’s just a case of chipping away at that.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

shares
comments
McLaren trusts Renault to play it fair in 2019 head-to-head
Previous article

McLaren trusts Renault to play it fair in 2019 head-to-head

Next article

German GP: All the winners since 1951

German GP: All the winners since 1951
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021