Williams F1 team chasing fix for damper problems for Mexican GP

Williams is confident it will find a solution to the Formula 1 gearbox damper failures that forced Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa to retire from the United States Grand Prix

Williams F1 team chasing fix for damper problems for Mexican GP

Both drivers encountered contact in separate incidents at the first corner in Austin, with Bottas clipping Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Massa tangling with McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Bottas, who had changed his gearbox between qualifying and the race, gambled on dry tyres when he pitted with damage, but returned to the garage shortly after and retired.

Massa fought back to 10th, but three laps after fitting dry tyres, the team told him to retire the car for the same reason as his team-mate.

"We have already put plans in place, different action paths which we are going to try and take," said Williams performance chief Rob Smedley, whose team suffered its first double retirement since the 2012 Brazilian GP.

"Once we have understood the problem and fully actioned these processes and designs, then the next stage will be to test new parts and make sure we are going into the race robust."

When asked by Autosport if he was confident Williams could get the problem fixed in time for Mexico next weekend, Smedley said: "We have to, there is no alternative. We can't not do it.

"Any kind of reliability issue we have to be able to sort, both understand and resolve and bring the manufacturing forward and get it on the car in a matter of days.

"If we have to work 24 hours a day to get the cars ready both here and Grove, then we'll do it. We'll be ready for Mexico."

Smedley said the team had not previously had a problem with this particular part, adding that the team also changed Bottas' gearbox before the race following a damper failure.

"Because the dampers are internal to the gearbox, we just changed the gearbox wholesale rather than trying to change single items," he said.

"In the race, both drivers had the same problem. We have fair idea of why it happened but we still have to get the dampers off the car and analyse the failed parts.

"The bumps here are quite severe and that has been the contribution to why we have failed that.

"Obviously nobody [else] has had that problem, it's particular to our car.

"The problem is a first. The piece we have on the car is proven, it's not a new piece.

"We've done the whole season and last season with pretty much the same design so it was very specific to this circuit."

shares
comments
Mercedes F1 team to act to avoid repeat of Spa 2014 fallout
Previous article

Mercedes F1 team to act to avoid repeat of Spa 2014 fallout

Next article

Raikkonen wants driving standards clarity after Verstappen battle

Raikkonen wants driving standards clarity after Verstappen battle
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

Formula 1
Feb 7, 2023
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023