Williams: New car a 'continuous development' of last year's concept

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Williams' new FW43 is a "continuous development" of last year's car, the team have said.

The Grove-based outfit is hoping 2020 can see them rejoin the battle in the midfield after a disastrous season saw the team miss the start of winter testing, spend the entire year off the pace at the back of the grid and inherit just a single point in Germany as a result.

Changes in personnel and to the operation at Williams have been made in an effort to address their problems.

And after some signs of progress toward the end of last year, there is confidence the new car will be a step forward.

“The team at the factory have been working incredibly hard on the development of the car for the 2020 season," design director Doug McKiernan said.

“We have paid significant attention to understanding the problem areas of the FW42 and we have carefully chosen parts of the car to develop, those that would give us the most performance for the resources we have.

“The main concept behind the FW43 is that it is a continuous development of the FW42, with no fundamental concept changes to the layout."

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A positive sign for Williams is the new car is ready on time, with the team conducting a shakedown in Barcelona on Monday ahead of testing which begins on Wednesday.

“The most important indicator that we are on the right path will be the level of correlation we have between the tool kit we use to design the car and what the track data is telling us," McKiernan added.

“There has been a healthy development rate in the wind tunnel and we have found reasonable improvements in cooling efficiency.

“The team has addressed the mechanical issues that affected it in 2019, these include the brakes and the overall weight of the car. We have made some good progress across these areas and will continue to focus on them during the season.”

Primarily, Williams will be wanting to use 2020 to bed in changes made over the past year in an effort to put themselves in a better position for 2021, when all-new cars are introduced.

And given the limitations the team have financially, that means optimising what they have available for this season is very much the theme of their approach.

“The initiatives that we put in place to drive performance across all disciplines within the engineering department are evident in the design and development of the FW43. It’s been great to see the hard work starting to pay off," chief engineer Adam Carter commented.

“The decision to retain some of the core architecture of the FW42 means there has been less resource invested in developing new concepts, which in turn has rewarded the design team with greater bandwidth to optimise their work, evident in both packaging and component detail.

“By preserving some key parameters, it has allowed for an uninterrupted development programme within aerodynamics in order to maximise the efficiency of the resources.

“And as we head towards the pre-season tests and then onto the race season, the most important measure will be the progress relative to our peers, along with our intention of continuing our recent record of reliability.

“Later this week, we will be looking at our single timed lap pace, our long-run pace and the feedback from the drivers to understand where we are and what we do next.

“We have teams, both at the track and back at Grove, that will be delving into all aspects that define that lap time during the pre-season tests to ensure we are in the best possible place ahead of the first race in Australia," he concluded.