The BMW WilliamsF1 Team signaled its clear intent for the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship with the unveiling of its new car, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24 at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire (England) today. Presented to the...
The BMW WilliamsF1 Team signaled its clear intent for the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship with the unveiling of its new car, the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24 at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire (England) today.
Presented to the international media at 11:00 O'Clock, team drivers' Ralf Schumacher (GER) and Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) are scheduled to complete their first laps in the new car early this afternoon and give their assessment of the new chassis and BMW's new P82 engine.
Together with his team-mate Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya will contest the 2002 season with test drivers' Marc Gene (ESP) and Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) playing an important role in the FW24's development over the course of the season.
For 2002, two years after the alliance between WilliamsF1 and BMW commenced, the clear intention for the team is to maintain the partnership's year-on-year momentum in the Championship. "After four commanding victories, four pole positions and eight lap records in our second year together, our expectations for the third season are high," says Team Principal Frank Williams. "We have great hopes for our new chassis, the FW24, and for the new BMW P82 engine," he continues. "Beyond that, we've got the strongest team of drivers. Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are different personalities with different driving styles, but their goals are identical," he concluded.
BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger elaborates, "Such a strong driver line up will be a real catalyst to push us on. My expectation is that the drivers will enjoy a closely matched degree of success during the year. Juan will be better on some circuits, Ralf on others. Both of them have proved they can win Grand Prix races."
Providing a technical perspective, Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director reflected, "On circuits where engine performance was the deciding factor, we were the force to be reckoned with in 2001. Defending this status while at the same time improving our reliability are our key objectives for 2002."
Patrick Head, WilliamsF1 Technical Director confirmed, "If you know in advance that on some circuits you're not going to win on your own merits, then the car isn't good enough. Further improving the aerodynamics and reliability were our primary goals when it came to the FW24."
A team led by Gavin Fisher (Chief Designer) designed the FW24 chassis in Grove, while the engine was designed at the BMW F1 factory in Munich under the guidance of Dr Werner Laurenz (Director of F1 Development).
The FW24 -- A High State of Evolution
From a design perspective, Gavin Fisher reflected at Silverstone today that, "The 2002 season sees few regulation changes, that brings with it the increased challenge to improve on a car which is already in a relatively high state of evolution. In many respects, it is more stimulating for a designer if the canvass is blank when it comes to starting on the development of the next car. As you progress, the opportunities for improvement are marginalised, and increasing amounts of effort must be expended for diminishing returns."
The design team at WilliamsF1 did have to embrace a completely new BMW engine, the P82, which in turn required the development of a new gearbox, and associated changes to the remainder of the drivetrain. "The design work we have done in conjunction with BMW has further optimised the engine installation. As always, we are striving to minimise weight and package volume, providing consequential gains in car dynamics and aero systems efficiency," says Fisher.
The Third Generation from Munich
The P82 engine is another new design, based on last year's engine, but new in every respect. It consists of almost 5,000 individual parts, around 1,000 of them different. All core components are developed and manufactured at BMW in Munich -- such as the cylinder head, crankcase, crankshaft, camshaft or electronic engine management.
In January/February of 2001 the design work on the P82 began. The concept stage was followed by construction until June. All parts for the first engines had been acquired in September and the testing of components had started in August. On 21 September the P82 had its first bench-test and on 3 October it was taken out for its first test run.
The development objectives read as follows: more power, greater reliability and less weight in the upper part of the engine to optimise the centre of gravity. "Our first engine, the E41 of the 2000 season," says Theissen, "was a leap from zero to 90 per cent. The P80 upped that to 98 per cent. And yet we will never achieve 100 per cent of what is technically possible. The benchmark shifts with every successful innovation. The crossbar is raised as you jump."
Simultaneous Testing at Barcelona......
The team's official test drivers, Marc Gene and Antonio Pizzonia, could not join their colleagues at Silverstone as they were on duty on the Circuit de Catalunya close to Barcelona, testing with interim cars. The first FW24 chassis presented to the press at Silverstone will be en route to Spain on this Friday evening and will commence its first full testing sessions over the weekend and into next week.
Technical Specifications of the FW24
Besides BMW, WilliamsF1 also put in a lot of development work over the past months. Here are the main technical data of the new chassis.
Transmission: WilliamsF1 semi-automatic
Chassis: Carbon Aramid epoxy composite, manufactured by WilliamsF1
Cooling System: Two water radiators, two oil radiators either side of the chassis Brakes: Carbon discs and pads operated by AP callipers
Wheels: O.Z.; 13 x 12 front, 13 x 13.7 rear
Tyres: Michelin Pilot
Cockpit Instrumentation: WilliamsF1 digital data display
Steering Wheel: WilliamsF1
Driver's Seat: Anatomically formed in carbon/epoxy composite material with Alcantara covering
Extinguisher Systems: WilliamsF1/Safety Devices
Paint System: DuPont Cromax
Front Track: 1460 millimetres
Rear Track: 1400 millimetres
Wheelbase: 3140 millimetres
Weight: 600 kg including driver and camera
Overall Car Length: 4540 millimetres