Williams releases images of their 2014 racer

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.

2 thoughts to “Williams releases images of their 2014 racer”

  1. A technical insight into the new Williams from Autosport.com.

    AUTOSPORT technical expert Craig Scarborough examines the images Williams has released of its 2014 Formula 1 car and picks out some intriguing elements.

    Williams became the second Formula 1 team to release a rendering of a 2014 car when it issued shots of the new FW36 on Thursday morning.

    The team went further than Force India by providing a variety of angles and revealing its handling of the front-end regulations.

    The ‘finger’ nose is the first visual element that is apparent. This design is widely expected to be used across the grid, although a few teams are believed to have alternative solutions.

    In Williams’s case, the main structure of the nose is quite conventional and mounts the wing with wide spaced pylons. The resulting finger to meet the nose tip height and size legalities is relatively subtle.

    For the first time Williams will be powered by a Mercedes engine. In the angled views of the car, we can see the sidepods have far larger inlets, as they now have to cool the larger Energy Recovery Systems and the air compressed by the turbocharger.

    Despite the greater cooling requirement, the sidepods still have large undercuts and sweep back into a sleek coke bottle shape.

    To allow more hot air to escape from the coolers, Williams has placed louvered outlets behind the driver’s head, which is new for an F1 car.

    At the rear the signature Williams low-line gearbox philosophy has been dropped to allow space for the turbocharger to be mounted behind the engine and for the exhaust’s tail pipe, which exits under a carbon fibre fairing and blows on to a small winglet.

    This design should provide some aero benefit from the exhaust flow, but not to the same extent as the exhaust blown diffusers last year.

    Additionally the rear wing is not placed on pillars. Instead it appears to be mounted to the top of the diffuser, which keeps the rear wing element unobstructed by the mounts.

    Lastly the driveshafts are not covered by the lower wishbones, which was the trend last year. It is just about possible to make out a small wing section mounted low down and ahead of the rear wing.

    This loophole has existed since 2009 and few teams have exploited this space for an aerofoil section. This idea will partly offset the loss of the beam wing from the new rules.

    Instead the driveshaft is exposed and the wishbone is mounted lower, probably to interact with the aforementioned wing profile that sits in this area.

    We can see far more detail on the Williams than in the limited images of the Force India, and it is clear there are a lot of innovations possible to regain the performance lost through the new regulations.

    Williams seems to have spotted several new areas to exploit, which bodes well for the team as it bids to recover from a terrible 2013 season.

  2. Williams provided a first glimpse of their new Formula One car on Thursday with a confident prediction that it would be good enough to move the former champions back up the grid after a dire 2013 campaign.

    “I’m confident that we’ll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year,” said engineering head Pat Symonds in a statement.

    The new FW36, in a blue and unbranded temporary livery, revealed the new slimline ‘anteater-style’ nose expected to be seen on most cars this year after regulation changes imposed for safety reasons.

    Williams, who scored just five points last year and finished ninth overall, are the first of the teams to show their nose design – even if it will be changed for the first race in Australia on March 16.

    Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado has been replaced by Brazilian Felipe Massa for 2014 with Finland’s Valtteri Bottas staying. The team have also switched from Renault engines to Mercedes.

    Formula One is ditching the old V8 engine to a turbocharged V6 with energy recovery systems in the biggest technical upheaval for a generation of engineers.

    Symonds said the new partnership was already delivering strong results.

    “This is the first time that Williams has worked with Mercedes in F1 and we’ve been very impressed,” said the former Renault technical director. “We’re as confident as we can be that the power unit will be competitive.”

    Williams will also use an eight speed gearbox for the first time this season.

    “It’s completed a lot of running on the test rig…but you can’t take reliability for granted,” said Symonds. “It has to cope with a lot more torque than was the case with the V8.”

    The team said the new car had passed all the mandatory crash tests before Christmas and they would be at the first test starting in Jerez, southern Spain, next week.

    Source: Reuters.com

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