Uncategorized

Why Williams wants nothing more than a boring F1 practice in France – Motorsport.com

A combination of mixed weather practice at the British Grand Prix, a start-line crash for Alex Albon, and then the sprint format in Austria, has left it unable to run through the normal baseline checks it would normally do for a such a major car change.
Two normal race weekends would have given it six free practice sessions to devote as much time as it wanted for those. As it heads to France, it hasn’t been able to devote any time at all to what it needed to do.
That is why, as it finally has enough parts to run its new update on both Albon and Nicholas Latifi at this weekend’s French GP, a dry standard Friday run of checks would be the best possible outcome.
As Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson explains: “There’s definitely a bit of a reset. You’ve got to go through that phase where you’ve got to check that it’s behaving like the wind tunnel and simulation say it should, in terms of where you want to pitch the ride heights or anything else that affects effects the airflow.
“Ideally, we would have done that quite methodically and objectively at FP1 at Silverstone, if it hadn’t been wet.
“It would have been a pretty boring session, but we’d have collected the data, compared it to the simulations and then we would hopefully have been quite quickly up to speed with it. We didn’t get a chance to do that.
“We then chose not to do it in P2 at Silverstone, as we chose just to suck it and see, and obviously in Austria we didn’t do it in P1 because we had all the race prep work to do.
“We’ll probably have to do some of that in France, and then hopefully we can make some more rapid progress.”
While the upgraded Williams has shown decent flashes of speed when it has been unleashed, and Albon nearly got through to Q3 at the Austrian GP, the team still is unsure about just how much of an improvement the new package has delivered.
Alex Albon, Williams FW44
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“It’s still hard to quantify,” added Robson. “Silverstone was difficult. In Austria, with just that one practice session and quite a lot of race preparation homework to get on with, we didn’t do as much of the measurement work as we would have liked.
“There’s signs of it showing promise and some good feedback from Alex. But I think we’re not there yet in terms of understanding how to get the most out of it.”
Albon said in Austria that he felt the new Williams was more ‘peaky’, which in effect means it is producing its best performance in a quite narrow setup window.
While that does not seem an ideal characteristic, Robson is far from alarmed and reckons it is just a consequence of a better performing car not being fully tuned at the moment.
“I think, with the aerodynamics, the harder you push them that naturally happens. I’m hopeful that with a little bit more work on the mechanical side of things to complement the aero, we can dial some of that out.
“But I think some of it is just going to be inevitable, and it’s just going to have to be absorbed into his driving style.”
Ultimately what Williams is after from the new car is both a step forward in pace now, and a better platform on which to target its longer term ambitions in to 2023. Robson says there are three different improvements that the team is exploring.
“It is designed to be better balanced. And I think it’s showing signs of that, but there probably is still a bit more work we need to do on the mechanical side of things to optimise what we’ve now got aerodynamically,” he said.
“Then, I think it’s a better aero package in terms of downforce and drag. And then the third thing is, which we are yet to prove, but this is where the work is going on in the tunnel, we think it is a much better platform for future development.
“So they are the kind of three things that we’re aiming for. I think there’s signs of all three, but quantifying them yet, we haven’t been able to do.”
And that’s why a boring Friday at Paul Ricard, to get that proper baseline of understanding in place, is so important for Williams right now.
How Ferrari has slashed Red Bull’s F1 top speed advantage
How F1’s new rules really rate halfway through their first season
Alonso’s age a factor in why Alpine would not commit to long-term F1 deal
The traits that fuelled Alonso’s unexpected Aston Martin F1 move
Alpine stands firm over Piastri race contract for F1 2023
Williams confirms Albon in F1 race seat for 2023 season
Sargeant to make Williams FP1 debut at F1 US GP
Logan Sargeant: Carrying America’s F1 hopes on his shoulders
F1 team principals: Who are they and what do they do?
The role of a team principal is a varied and important one, but who are the team principals and what do they do? Read on to find out…
Alpine: Ocon has what it takes to lead the F1 team in 2023
Alpine Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer believes that Esteban Ocon has what it takes to lead the team following Fernando Alonso’s departure at the end of this season.
McLaren explains gaps between qualifying and race pace
McLaren Formula 1 team boss Andreas Seidl has explained that being able to mask the car’s lack of downforce in qualifying is behind the large discrepancy between qualifying and race pace.
Why Piastri’s F1 attempt to join McLaren carries risky implications
After the 2006 Formula 1 British GP, Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony was a frustrated man, despite his son – at the time a star in GP2 – had just scored a memorable double win in that weekend’s feature and sprint events.
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future
OPINION: Ferrari’s numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere – just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez’s path to a top F1 seat
After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay
Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?
Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting
The traits that fuelled Alonso’s unexpected Aston Martin F1 move
Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing.
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships
OPINION: Ferrari’s Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week’s Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans after Vettel decision
OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last.
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing
OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But Mark Gallagher thinks this is highly unlikely.

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like