Craig Scarborough examines the images Williams has released of its 2014 Formula 1 car and picks out some intriguing elements.
Williams became the second Formula 1 team to release a rendering of a 2014 car when it issued shots of the new FW36 on Thursday morning.
The team went further than Force India by providing a variety of angles and revealing its handling of the front-end regulations.
The “finger” nose is the first visual element that is apparent. This design is widely expected to be used across the grid, although a few teams are believed to have alternative solutions.
In Williams’s case, the main structure of the nose is quite conventional and mounts the wing with wide spaced pylons. The resulting finger to meet the nose tip height and size legalities is relatively subtle.
For the first time Williams will be powered by a Mercedes engine. In the angled views of the car, we can see the sidepods have far larger inlets, as they now have to cool the larger Energy Recovery Systems and the air compressed by the turbocharger.
Despite the greater cooling requirement, the sidepods still have large undercuts and sweep back into a sleek coke bottle shape. To allow more hot air to escape from the coolers, Williams has placed louvered outlets behind the driver’s head, which is new for an F1 car.
REAR END INNOVATIONS
At the rear, the signature Williams low-line gearbox philosophy has been dropped to allow space for the turbocharger to be mounted behind the engine and for the exhaust’s tail pipe, which exits under a carbon fiber fairing and blows on to a small winglet. This design should provide some aero benefit from the exhaust flow, but not to the same extent as the exhaust blown diffusers last year.
Additionally the rear wing is not placed on pillars. Instead it appears to be mounted to the top of the diffuser, which keeps the rear wing element unobstructed by the mounts.
Finally, the driveshafts are not covered by the lower wishbones, which was the trend last year. It is just about possible to make out a small wing section mounted low down and ahead of the rear wing.
This loophole has existed since 2009 and few teams have exploited this space for an aerofoil section. The idea will partly offset the loss of the beam wing from the new rules.
Instead, the driveshaft is exposed and the wishbone is mounted lower, probably to interact with the aforementioned wing profile that sits in this area.
We can see far more detail on the Williams than in the limited images of the Force India, and it is clear there are a lot of innovations possible to regain the performance lost through the new regulations.
Williams seems to have spotted several new areas to exploit, which bodes well for the team as it bids to recover from a terrible 2013 season.