Find out more about our subscriptions

Williams: Even small updates count in the battle for competitiveness in F1 2012

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Hockenheim, 2012Williams believes that Formula 1 teams are having to evaluate smaller updates than usual because of the competitive nature of the sport in 2012.

This season has been dubbed one of the closest ever, with seven different winners from the first seven races of the season, and several midfield teams causing upsets as they are closer to the frontrunning teams than usual.

And after Lotus became the second team to run a double DRS concept on a grand prix weekend in Germany, trialling the system on Kimi Raikkonen's car during free practice, Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said that rival outfits cannot afford to write off any new ideas, no matter how small the benefit.

"With all these things, double DRS, exhaust concepts and the like, even if you've looked at it once you never stop looking," said Gillan.

"Two years ago a tenth of a second might not have been worth putting the effort in for. But now, it's so tight you must put whatever you can on the car as soon as possible."

Gillan added that Williams will continue to monitor the potential benefits of a double DRS, having first evaluated the idea after it was revealed on the Mercedes at the start of the season.

"We look at all these things and gauge whether it's worth putting the effort in for the return that you get," he said. "There was obviously a lot of discussion about the Mercedes system at the beginning of the season, but less so now.

"As a team we have got a lot still to improve, even with the package we have got. The DRS systems, the exhausts, they're all bolt on and nice to have. We all want them, and we're all doing it, but it's getting the package to work that is the key.

"A lot of these things need a lot of investment just to get it on the car, and there are balancing acts that we're always doing. Depending on the results from the windtunnel, you decide which one you go for."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed