Williams has blamed the new rear wing it introduced this weekend for an aerodynamic problem which caused both drivers to spin during qualifying.
The team’s chief technical officer Paddy Lowe told media including RaceFans the team believes the new part is causing an aerodynamic stall when the drivers deactivate DRS. The car’s airflow does not reattach properly, which led to the spins.
“It only happens when you use the DRS and it doesn’t recover well enough for the subsequent corner. And we can only assume now it is related to the new pieces even though we did a proper introduction and seemed to have a stable platform as we finished FP2 yesterday.”
Lowe suspects the precise cause of stalls is related to how the new part interacts with the rest of the car, rather than the wing itself. “I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with the wing itself it’s just something in terms of the car with everything in combination,” he said.
Lance Stroll was unable to set a time in Q1 after spinning into a gravel trap. Sergey Sirotkin also spun but was able to continue. He ended up 18th, slowest of the drivers who set a time.
Lowe described the problem as “something we’ve never seen before on this car or indeed any other car.”
The team discovered the problem during practice and made a change which they thought had fixed the problem. “That was obviously a mistake in terms of the diagnosis,” Lowe admitted.
Lowe revealed he apologised to Stroll and Sirotkin in the team’s debrief today “for not giving them the equipment they needed.”
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