- May 11, 2011
Williams confident they’ve established the right design direction for 2019/20
Williams’ 2019 campaign started badly, with car delays and missed tests, and it didn’t get much better when they went racing, Robert Kubica and George Russell woefully off the pace in the season’s opening few rounds. But upgrades introduced in the last couple of races have lifted them off the bottom of the timesheets.
That, says Claire Williams, is not the consequence of some sudden quick fix, but rather the result of several months of work finally bearing fruit, first on the mechanical side of their Mercedes-powered FW42 – and then on its real Achilles' heel, downforce.
“There have been a lot of mechanical upgrades or improvements etc – work that’s been going on that you may not necessarily have seen – that has really helped stabilise the car and give the drivers greater confidence,” she said. “A lot of work has gone into some of those components.
“But then obviously we needed to focus on aero performance as well because that’s where we were really down after the winter. But through putting in this new approach that we did last year, we always knew that was going to take some time to come to fruition.”
In hindsight, Williams admitted that a breakthrough for the aerodynamics team had come with the new bargeboard design introduced at the British Grand Prix back in July – not because of any huge, immediate performance gain, but because it validated their work.
“I think the bargeboard probably showed us that the direction that the aero group are taking is the right one – we’ve been waiting quite a long time to see whether it is,” she continued. “We have fantastic correlation between the track and the tunnel.
“The work that the aero group have done on rakes for example, on simulation work – the direction they’ve taken in that work alone – has really helped move the dial forward for us from an aero perspective.”
Found the last bit interesting and it ties in with what George Russell Said. They got caught up in the aero chasing performance and couldn't really see what was going on. Stepped back, started from scratch and have now slowly made gains. I hope they can keep moving forward.“You can get a bit lost in a loop sometimes in aero, so it was a case of taking those steps back and now I think we’re definitely seeing that we can move forward, hopefully quickly.