Williams F1 defends reputation over Massa's Brazilian GP exclusion

Williams has moved to defend its reputation and explain its decision to drop its appeal against Felipe Massa's exclusion from Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix

Williams F1 defends reputation over Massa's Brazilian GP exclusion

The team was found in breach of the regulations when the right-rear tyre on Massa's car was discovered to be 27 degrees centigrade above the maximum imposed level.

The team launched an immediate appeal when Massa was excluded from eighth, but after further consideration, despite believing it had a good case, decided against pursuing it.

"I am absolutely convinced that if we did follow the appeal through, we would win it," said Williams technical director Pat Symonds.

"I remember from my time at Renault that we went to appeal several times and the amount of money we spent on those appeals was really significant.

"More importantly, it was the amount of time spent.

"If we had decided to follow the process through, there is no doubt that the appeal would have been heard at the end of the season and I think that's a terrible thing for the sport.

"There was no reason to do it. However, I think it's really important that we protect the reputation of Williams.

"Because the facts as they stand at the moment is that we have been excluded for breaking a regulation.

"Whether, with intent or by accident, it still reflects on our ability and integrity as a team."

Symonds highlighted three pieces of evidence that he says prove Williams did not break the rules.

"One of them is the infrared sensors that we have fitted and looking at the rear tyres," he said.

"As soon as the blankets were removed and the car started its formation lap, we've got readings from that.

"If the tyre had been at 137 degrees, there is no way it would have got to the 104 degrees that we've got.

"The second bit of evidence is that the temperature and pressure are connected.

"We had eight data points and the mean psi was 22.2 and the standard deviation was 0.5.

"That data includes the percentage on the grid so we are happy that the pressure in that tyre, once we had bled it out, was about where we expected it to be.

"If it had been at 137 degrees, the pressures would have been 24.1 psi which would have been way out of any standard deviation from the mean."

The third piece of evidence is based on an experiment Williams performed after the incident, which measured the temperature underneath the blanket and then when the tyre was exposed.

"When we took a reading from under the blankets, we saw a 135 degrees and when we then opened it up, it turned to 110 degrees."

BETTER PROCEDURES REQUIRED

Symonds says plans are to be put in place to ensure the system is more tightly regulated, especially given the relevant people in the team were not informed of the irregularity when it was spotted.

"Bear in mind this is a safety thing," he said. "If they felt the car was unsafe, they should have told us straight away.

"They said they did mention it to one of the mechanics but they couldn't remember who it was. You don't do that.

"My understanding is in future, the engineer in charge of car, if they want to measure temperature, he has to be present and witness it being done."

shares
comments
Ex-Ferrari Academy member Stroll gets Williams F1 development deal

Previous article

Ex-Ferrari Academy member Stroll gets Williams F1 development deal

Next article

Lewis Hamilton keen to try NASCAR and thinks F1 can learn from it

Lewis Hamilton keen to try NASCAR and thinks F1 can learn from it
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021