New nose rules a headache for designers – Williams

2015 F1 season

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Williams say the changes to the nose regulations for 2015 presented the biggest challenge when designing their new FW37.

Work began on the new car before the FW36 hit the track 12 months ago, but changes had to be made to accommodate new rules aimed at altering the unsightly noses which were a feature of many of last year’s cars.

“The change in regulations offered us a slight headache,” said Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

“The new front bulkhead and nose geometry had much more of an impact than we had initially anticipated and the effect on the aero was profound. The team have worked hard on pulling back the deficit these regulations have made for us.”

Williams also made compromises late last year as they pushed on with the development of the FW36 to ensure they took third place in the constructors’ championship.

“The desire to beat Ferrari to third place in the constructors’ in 2014 meant we pushed our development through to late autumn,” said Symonds, “but the size of the team is now at a point where it was able to sustain this development whilst still working on the FW37.”

However the team believe they have found gains by exploiting the basic lightness of last year’s car, as the minimum weight for this year has risen.

“We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance,” Symonds explained. “The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass.”

Following Williams’ best season since 2003, Symonds expects closer competition from their rivals this year. “The more rule stability there is, the closer the field gets,” he said.

“I hope as a team we are more capable of maintaining the forward momentum to catch Mercedes, than the teams behind us are of catching us. It’s not just about stable regulations but also about the team and every individual that works here moving forward and improving.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “New nose rules a headache for designers – Williams”

  1. It has yet to be seen if Williams can break the trend of building a good car each other year, only to be followed up by a very bad one. But thus far, things seem promising. I am somewhat supriced at how good the partnership of Claire Williams and Pat Symonds has performed. But it’s one more example of how a F1 team should be led; One person in charge of business/politics, and one person acting as a clear technical leader. It’s working brilliantly it seems.

    1. It worked pretty well for Merc last season too! ;)

      1. Even Red Bull. Seems to be the trend now a days.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          21st January 2015, 11:14

          Unless you’re Ferrari in which case, you pluck random people from other places in the business, give them a few months and then sack them before any of their ideas come to fruition.

          1. Are you talking about Mattiaci? The guy who was leading the team the time they got their 2015 schedule late?

    2. Let’s wait and see before reaching any verdict on how effective the new management structure is. In 2013 Mike Coughlan et al kept going on about how everything was hunky dory and working in harmony, Maldonado jumped in the car and said it was the best he had ever driven, singing everyone’s praises, all was set fair to build on the successes of 2012, the general consensus being that Williams were back for good…and then they had an absolute stinker and it was back to square one, both Coughlan and Maldonado heading out the door by season’s end.

      I guess what I mean is it’s easy to talk the talk, and on previous form I’m still sceptical as to whether Williams can genuinely pull it off…that said, I would be very glad to be proved wrong!

      1. Well Coughlan wasn’t really a car designer, according to what McLaren said at the WMSC hearings in 2007. His role was quite a bit less senior than his job title there implied. And he followed Sam Michael who moved to a much less senior role at McLaren, which tells us something too I think.

        Pat Symonds on the other hand IS the real deal. So I am quite optimistic that it’s a big change at Williams and the upward surge can continue.

      2. I heard from my friends ar Williams factory that Coughlan did bring in the blame culture

  2. Good to see a sponsor on their sidepod for the first time since 2010.

      1. not new, poached

        1. There are two Lotus sponsors of that car. Piranha club…

        2. You cannot know that the sponsor was ‘poached.’ Perhaps they preferred to go to Williams. Sponsors do have a free choice of where to spend their money…and they have chosen to go with Williams.

          They are not ‘Lotus’ sponsors, they are former Lotus sponsors.

          If anyone in F1 is guilty of ‘poaching’ it would be F.O.M.

        3. I saw an interview once that said Williams never poached any sponsors from other teams, meaning they ever spoke to a company if they were already sponsoring another team.

          Perhaps Rexona just saw their money better spend at Williams than at Lotus.

          1. In spanish, Rexona’s slogan is “Rexona no te abandona”, meaning “Rexona doesn’t abandon you”. Well, it seems they might abandon you after all if your car isn’t good enough!

  3. I thought the regulations were supposed to stop these weird noses. What about the nose that Lotus trialled in Austin?

    1. @stigsemperfi teams will always try to extract the maximum out of the rules. Sure the new regulations were aimed at finally having aesthetic noses again, but if the optimum compliant solution is still an ugly nose, then the regulations have failed. Teams are not in it to create beautiful cars…

      About that Lotus nose: maybe it isn’t the optimal solution. Maybe Williams has it wrong with the above nose. Or maybe the above is just a rumor/speculation/photoshop and Williams will have another design.

      1. @mattds

        maybe the above is just a rumour/speculation

        The images above were issued by Williams.

        1. Thank you @keithcollantine , I somehow missed that. So out the door goes that possibility.

    2. @mattds

      If I recall, Lotus said at the time that the nose they were testing in Austin would not meet the new 2015 technical regs but they thought they could learn enough from it that it was worth running for the data.

  4. shame they have no chance if winning the championship.
    Powered by Mercedes Benz (but hampered by them if they get too close)

  5. I don’t think the nose is any uglier than last year, I just hope Mercedes and Redbull haven’t been forced down the tiny appendage route by the new regs. Fingers crossed Williams can pick up some wins this season!

  6. If they paint the nose black (like Red Bull did) the front end will look like last years Mercedes.

  7. Is it me or is that nose very low? If very low is the new regulation, I am concerned about submarining (spelling?).

    Lets hope it is a good one and can provide Merc with some competition.

  8. I don’t really mind the nose to be honest.

    I’m just glad F1 is going back towards lower noses as i’ve always hated the higher noses, Especially the really high noses we started to see the few years before 2014.

    I also wasn’t especially put off by the finger noses we saw last year & thought it was great that for the 1st time in a while every team went there own way & there was some real variety in the look of the noses of each car. I just hope that we get something similar this year & that we don’t end up with everyone ending up with a similar look again as we had before.

  9. “The change in regulations offered us a slight headache,”

    Just looking at it gives me headaches too.

  10. They have done a good job to keep the front-wing from our eyes. I don’t think they will use a same monkey seat for two years either.

  11. Also, as far as i can see they ditched the Senna-logo..? Not that i think they should be on an eternal guilt-trip, i just thought Frank Williams said at one point last season they wouldn’t ditch it.

    1. It is probably on the other side of front wing pillars like last year. From this angle you can see Ginny Williams charity logo (late wife of sir Frank).

    2. It’s only a CGI render not the actual car so I would guess we won’t know if it’s been dropped until testing.

  12. Looks EXACTLY like last years merc, except for that protruding ugly bump. otherwise a complete duplicate of the “trunk” of the merc.

    1. Give me the photos!
      Actually, FW37 is exactly like FW36 except for that nose

    2. Yep. Although the rules prevent the old Mercedes nose this year, looks like they were slightly ahead regarding those new rules.

      So, don’t expect much in terms of inovation from Mercedes, bar its livery.

      1. @becken-lima
        Considering Merc “got it right” so well last year, I’m not expecting anything dramatic from them on the body. But who knows, a new nose may force them into more change than they like considering how much it effects everything down stream.

  13. It looks like they have tightened up the side pods considerably and reduced the diameter of the air intakes which should help greatly with overall aero package compared to the launch of last years car. Of course there are not enough pics or angles yet to do a real side by side comparison so the angles may be deceiving my eyes.

  14. I love the new season reveals. You can only imagine the panic / jubilation / worry at other teams as they look at a design they’ve either copied / discarded or decided it was too risky to implement.

  15. Looks like a pacifier to me. Let’s see what the other teams evolution bring. With all the criticisms, am hoping for better looking cars in 2016. Cars will be heavier this year so does it mean it will even be slower, sure hope not.

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