Williams plan “significant upgrade” for FW35 in Spain

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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<Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Williams will overhaul their FW35 at the fifth race of the year as they try to get their season back on track.

The squad has failed to score a point in the opening races. Technical director Mike Coughlan said: “After a difficult two races we?ve been back at the factory going through the data to try to understand where we need to improve.

“We feel we have a better understanding of where we are and the whole team has been working hard to improve our competitiveness going into the next few races. Ultimately we are looking at a significant upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Williams’ troubles with the FW35 have mainly centered on the exhaust upgrade introduced at the final pre-season test, although the team’s drivers initially gave positive feedback about the changes.

They face two races of damage limitation while they wait for the new parts. Pastor Maldonado said they have much to do with their car:

“We haven?t had the best start to the season and we need some time to improve our car to be solid in the points, but the whole team is working very hard so let?s wait and see how we can adapt the car for this race.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    26 comments on “Williams plan “significant upgrade” for FW35 in Spain”

    1. Last year’s car had race winning pace and Maldonado qualified in the top 5 on several occasions. Now why would you change that concept for a new unproven one taking all that risk. Like MacLaren it was totally unnecessary considering they are in the last year of these rules. Williams have been in the doldrums for so long and I thought they had finally turned a corner, but alas, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot again.

      1. In the case of McLaren, I think they went this route because they believe that the cars of other teams will “peak” since they are all evolutions of last year’s car. I think McLaren had reason to believe that they couldn’t make their 2012 car any faster and therefore, took a new direction.

        1. @rumfresh – that was the influential factor, but I think there’s probably some reasoning also that they are getting the pull-rod suspension sussed for 2014 possibly.

          I’m surprised they did as they did though McLaren, because surely they’d have been better to keep a known platform and so allowing them to divert more resources to the 2014 car (which will be all-new likely), unless of course the MP4-28 is a stepping stone to the ’29?

          1. @vettel1 Pullrod can’t be used with the low 2014 chassis so that was a waste of time by McLaren, as for the 28 being a stepping stone for the 29? Not a chance, the design has to be completely new, even though some things will look the same for us, the loads and forces will be different (heavier cars, less downforce) which means they have to be designed from the ground up.

            1. Why couldn’t pull-rods be used? All that really changes is the chassis mounting point is inverted, with the main benefit being the cross-arm profile is not interfering with as much the air passing through the suspension area.

              The inverted position means it’s more awkward and time-consuming to work on (under the car rather than over) but there’s little functional difference with the rest of the wishbone.

            2. @mantresx pull rod suspension works much better in a lower chassis, just look at the ground effect cars, most used pull rods and their chassis were much much lower in the front than the 2014 cars will be.

            3. @optimaximal Of course is technically possible to use pullrod in a low chassis, but no one will use it because it would have the same angle as pushrod so the aero advantage is lost and you still have the hassle of working upside down.

            4. @mantresx – respectfully, you are completely wrong! Read this article on push-rod vs pull-rod.

      2. What are you talking about? Williams didn’t go for a new concept like Mclaren at all. They just made improvement changes but it seems they had exactly the opposite effect.

    2. Very unusual what’s happened at Williams so far this season – first of all it’s an apparently amazing car and then it’s got the Marussia breathing down it’s neck!

    3. The performance of the Williams has been a disappointment to me in this young season. Hope the improvements get them back closer to where they were last season. The only thing more disappointing than the performance of the car has been the driving of Maldonado. With some F1 experience he should be driving better than the rookies and other drivers with less experience.

    4. they’re better off using last years car i reckon

    5. Maldonado really looks like a fool. At pre-season testing he praised the car for being the best he’d ever driven. A couple of weeks later at the first race, he says it’s undrivable. His feedback must be pretty worthless.

      1. His points return has been useless in his career as well.

      2. He was successful at masking what they knew, well kind of, unfortunately he was as pleasant as Mclaren in trying to face their condition in the most positive way.

      3. they should have kept Rubens…:(

    6. I hope the new upgrade is in the form of a replacement for Pastor Maldonado.

      1. Abdurahman (@)
        9th April 2013, 3:57

        Thank you, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard/read all day!

      2. Fernando Cruz
        9th April 2013, 14:54

        If that happened Williams would never know how good the car will be with the upgrade, as Maldonado has been a lot faster than Bottas in normal, dry, qualifying sessions… Pastor makes too many mistakes (this time maybe due to the frustration of a poor car) but he remains very fast in a single lap…

    7. Lets hope they fare better than they did 2 years ago.

    8. I had faith in Maldondo that he’d scrubbed off his crash proneness, but it sadly appears it was misplaced. I can only hope with the upgraded FW35 comes an upgraded Pasta Carbonara (as he is so-called in another F1 podcast)!

      1. Same here, although I guess we have to put some of it on those KERS issues etc. Williams themselves state, I would hardly say that Maldonado is making a positive impression so far this year.

        1. KERS issues? I thought they’d pretty much confirmed it’s down to the car misbehaving because they’re behind everyone else in the Coanda exhaust development.

          1. I am pretty sure they mentioned issues with the car (its KERS system) to be behind him prematurely ending the race in Malaysia.

            1. I thought he just dumped it in the gravel trap… a KERS failure can muck up the braking, so I guess it’s feasible.

            2. Yes, I felt much the same about it, decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, for now @optimaximal, but I still expect to see him do it again all too soon

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