Williams have become the second team this week to reveal the look of their 2014 racer, which includes that controversial nose design as part of this season’s new Formula 1 regulations.
The computer-generated render of the FW36 features a strikingly narrow, tapered nose. This ‘anteater’ design means the aerodynamics play an important part in maximise airflow underneath the car.
These set of images is just the car’s launch-specification, while an upgrade package will appear in the season-opener race.
Although the new 1.6-litre engines will be key to performance this year, Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds believes his team has also been able to take a step forward with aerodynamic performance.
“F1 is still going to be an aerodynamic formula in 2014,” said Symonds.
“There are some significant changes: the nose is lower than last year and the front wing is narrower, which means the endplates are now more shrouded by the front tyre.
“The rear wing isn’t as deep as last year and the beam wing below it is no longer permitted, and we’ve also lost the ability to use the exhaust to enhance aero performance.
“I’m confident we we’ll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year.”
The new rules have also led to changes in cooling and packaging that have influenced the design of the rear end.
“The demands on water and oil cooling may be slightly diminished, but the ERS system is significantly more powerful and hence needs more cooling,” said Symonds.
“We also have to cool the charge air from the turbocharger compressor which requires a substantial intercooler.”
The Williams FW36 also features a new eight-speed gearbox, with the team opting to produce its own unit having evaluated the possibility of purchasing one from Mercedes.
According to Williams, the gearbox ran on the dyno for the first time in November.
“We finished the gearbox relatively early,” said Symonds.
“It’s completed a lot of running on the test rig and at Mercedes HPP in Brixworth, but you can’t take reliability for granted.
“It’s a completely new ‘box and it has to cope with a lot more torque than was the case with the V8.”
Williams has also been able to get weight down to the minimum limit of 690kg, despite the fact over concerns that the demands of the new regulations would make this difficult for teams to achieve.
“The build of the new car has gone remarkably smoothly,” said Symonds.
“But it’s been a challenge to get the car down to the weight limit.
“It’s been achievable, but it hasn’t been easy because the new power unit is heavier than the outgoing V8.”
The Williams-Mercedes FW36 will make its on-track debut in the first pre-season test at Jerez, which kicks off next week.
It will run in the blue ‘heritage’ livery throughout pre-season testing.