Williams unveils the FW35 on the eve of second pre-season testing

Williams FW35 angle

After missing out the first pre-season test at Jerez, the Williams F1 Team finally unveil their 2013 challenger, the FW35, ahead of the second test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Williams ran a modified version of last year’s car at the opening test having decided to continue with the development work on the FW35. The Jerez test still provided useful knowledge especially the new Pirelli tyres.

The FW35 retains the Renault engine for this season and features aggressive undercuts on its sidepods.

Williams FW35 side

“Given the rule stability over the winter,” said technical director Mike Coughlan, “I’m pleased with the gains that we’ve been able to make with this car.

“It’s a better, more refined Formula 1 car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work they’ve done.”

Despite being an evolution on last year’s car, the FW35 is 80 per cent new, with a new gearbox, rear suspension, radiators, floor, exhausts, bodywork and nose.

Williams returned to the top step of the podium after seven win-less seasons when Pastor Maldonado won last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

But inconsistent form meant this breakthrough was not reflected in the championship standings, with Williams only eighth in the constructors’ come the end of the 2012 season.

Maldonado stays on for 2013, with the highly-rated rookie Valtteri Bottas promoted from the reserve driver role as a replacement over Bruno Senna.

Check out the video below featuring the new Williams FW35:

6 thoughts to “Williams unveils the FW35 on the eve of second pre-season testing”

  1. Williams technical director Mike Coughlan is certain that the vane in the FW35’s exhaust outlet is legal despite similarities to a controversial part on the Caterham.

    The Caterham CT03 features a vane that some rival outfits – and Coughlan – believe to be illegal even though the team itself is adamant it is permitted.

    That area of the car was subject to an FIA technical directive last year designed to prevent the re-ingestion of exhaust gases.

    Coughlan argued that because Williams’s vane is in two parts, unlike Caterham’s single piece, it is within the rules.

    “For me, the Caterham one is really not allowed but ours is OK,” said Coughlan.

    “If you look at ours, it’s not a single piece – it’s two pieces.

    “You’re governed by total aperture size and [the need for it to be] a single aperture.

    “Ours is a single aperture joined by a very small slot, so it’s actually two pieces.”

    Coughlan is also confident that the team has made a step forward with its Coanda exhaust.

    Caterham CT03Williams ran the concept at the end of last year in free practice and found that it performed well on Friday in Brazil, but opted not to take the risk of racing with it.

    Coughlan confirmed that his team had “more than” halved the power loss experienced last season thanks to the changes needed to the exhaust pipes.

    “We spent quite a lot of time doing Coanda studies and ensuring that we understood the compromise between power and downforce and we’ve done a good job there,” he said.

    “That is helped an awful lot by Renault’s understanding of engine mapping so we are very pleased.

    “That does give us a significant step forward.

    “All we were cautious of, and maybe too cautious of [last year], was the loss of power.

    “You have to remember that last year people spent a lot of time doing that work and we perhaps didn’t and maybe should have done.

    “We tested Coanda in Brazil and maybe we could have brought that a little bit earlier.”

    The Williams FW35 made a successful start to its first test, with Pastor Maldonado completing a total of 47 laps on the first morning at Barcelona.

    Source: Autosport.com

  2. Both the new Williams and Caterham exhaust system are considered to be illegal, as pointed out by the sport’s governing body (FIA). Autosport.com has the story.

    Williams and Caterham may have to drop the controversial vanes that sit in the ‘Coanda channel’ of their 2013 Formula 1 cars after being advised that the FIA considers them to be illegal.

    The new Williams FW35 features a two-part vane behind the exhaust, mounted at the top of the u-shaped channel into which the exhaust pipes exit, while Caterham has a similar one-piece part placed a little lower.

    Technical director Mike Coughlan was adamant that the part is legal when asked about it in the wake of the car being unveiled on Tuesday morning.

    He believes the fact that the vane is in two parts makes it permissible, whereas he sees the Caterham design as illegal because it is a single piece and fully encloses the Coanda channel.

    But the Williams team has confirmed that the FIA approached it on Tuesdy morning to express its view that the design, along with that of Caterham, is illegal.

    The FIA insists that an exhaust’s primary purpose must not be to affect the aerodynamic performance of the car, a stipulation governed by a combination of the technical regulations and private technical directives issued to the teams.

    In order to ensure this is not happening, it deems that the sides of the Coanda channels are not allowed to converge in any way, meaning that they must be vertical or slope outwards.

    Exhaust gases are allowed to have an incidental aerodynamic effect, but what Williams and Caterham have attempted is understood to be seen as overstepping the mark.

    Despite the FIA’s concerns, its current position is only advisory and both teams can continue to run their designs during testing, which is unregulated beyond safety standards.

    Should they continue to run them once the season starts, the FIA is able to refer the matter to race stewards for consideration.

    When contacted about the situation, a spokesperson told AUTOSPORT: “The team spoke with the FIA this morning (they approached us), which is when they gave us their view.

    “The team are now seeking further clarification on this and a decision as to whether this design will be carried forward will be made before the first race.”

  3. The new Williams FW35 is a big improvement on its Formula 1 predecessor according to the team’s lead driver Pastor Maldonado.

    The 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner gave the new car its first run in pre-season testing on Tuesday, completing 86 laps.

    With the test taking place at Barcelona, the scene of Maldonado’s remarkable victory last year, the Venezuelan said the team had reliable data to compare the new car with the FW34 and that progress was clear to see.

    “There is an improvement, a big one,” Maldonado told reporters in the paddock at the end of the day. “It’s a step forward.

    “We have good data here from last year so I confirmed a step in performance. The car seems to be very comfortable on the track.

    “I’m very happy because it’s the best car I have [driven], especially in the first test.

    “Last year’s car was good, competitive all through the year, but I think there is a clear step forward on this car.”

    Maldonado added that the car felt nothing like his race-winning FW34 at the same track last year.

    “It’s completely different,” he said. “A completely different car, a different feeling.

    “It seems to be more easy to drive, but easy doesn’t mean quick, so we need to wait a little bit to get to the bottom of the car.

    “Last year, a couple of times the car was very difficult but at the same time very quick, so it’s difficult to compare.”

    AUTOSPORT says by Edd Straw (@eddstrawf1)

    Pastor Maldonado’s comments on the new Williams FW35 sound relatively run of the mill – good step forward, positive step, upbeat etc etc – the usual new car launch platitudes.

    But the way the Venezuelan delivered his lines leaves you in no doubt as to his sincerity in feeling that this car is very promising indeed. To see him grinning and bouncing around the paddock served only to intensify that impression.

    Maldonado knows what a good car feels like at Barcelona having won here last year, so his positive attitude is to be taken seriously.

    Everything we’ve seen from Williams over the last year suggests that under technical director Mike Coughlan, it has a good handle on exactly what it’s trying to achieve and the improvement in detail work on this car compared to its predecessor is clear.

    We can take Maldonado at his word when he says it’s a step forward but the key question is whether it’s a relative step forward. But all the evidence so far suggests that making the top five in the constructors’ championship remains a realistic aim.

    After the usual equivocations about needing more time in the car, I asked him what his gut feeling was and whether the car was capable of challenging for race wins. His response lacked the usual downplaying of expectations and made his feelings very clear.

    “I think I’m going to enjoy it with this car during the season…”

    Source: Autosport.com

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