Williams retains low-drag trait on its FW37 2015 Formula 1 car

Williams says that its 2015 Formula 1 car has maintained the low drag characteristics of its predecessor

Williams retains low-drag trait on its FW37 2015 Formula 1 car

The Grove-based outfit kept the F1 championship-winning Mercedes on its toes last season by regularly topping the speed trap figures with its FW36.

And although Williams did not quite have the qualifying pace to turn that top speed into a win, the team believes that the car trait was the right one to keep on its new FW37.

Technical director Pat Symonds said: "Our target drag levels we think we got pretty right last year.

"It gave us a very good racing car and, by the end of the season, we were also qualifying very well with it.

"We set those sorts of targets through simulation. The simulation is redone not just year-to-year; it's a relatively continuous thing to check where we are.

"We followed that simulation in designing the FW36 and it served us well, so we pretty well kept with those techniques on FW37."

Symonds hopes that keeping the top speed, alongside other car developments, will be enough to put Williams in contention for victories.

"Competitiveness is a relative thing," he said. "We have certainly taken steps that I hope will move us forward, but I don't yet know what our competitors have done.

"I hope that at least we start where we finished and our development rate last year was one of the things I was particularly proud of.

"We really did add a lot of performance to the car relative to our competitors. We are applying all the same philosophies to doing that, so yes we want to get in there and be fighting."

WILLIAMS TOP IN JEREZ SPEED TRAP

As AUTOSPORT revealed earlier this week, the top speed of the Williams was again a match for Mercedes during the first 2015 test at Jerez.

Felipe Massa's highest speed trap figure from the test was matched by Nico Rosberg, with fellow Mercedes team Lotus third quickest thanks to Pastor Maldonado.

SPEED TRAP FIGURES
Jerez F1 test, February 1-4

1 Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) 307.6 km/h
2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 307.6 km/h
3 Pastor Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes) 306.8 km/h
4 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault) 303.3 km/h
5 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari) 303.3 km/h
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 300.8 km/h
7 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault) 294.2 km/h
8 Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda) 277.6 km/h

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