Williams says 2015 Formula 1 car nose rule change has big effect

Williams has admitted that Formula 1's new nose regulations for 2015 had a bigger effect than expected on the design of its new FW37 contender

Williams says 2015 Formula 1 car nose rule change has big effect

The team's new car - revealed on the front cover of AUTOSPORT's sister title F1 Racing - follows on from the FW36 that turned Williams back into a frontrunner last year.

The nose design is one of the most obvious differences from the 2014 machine, and Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds said the changes to the regulations governing the front of the cars played a big part in the design process.

"The change in regulations offered us a slight headache," he said.

"The new front bulkhead and nose geometry had much more of an impact than we had initially anticipated and the effect on the aero was profound.

"Although the aerodynamics of the [2014] car were impressive there is always room for improvement, particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations.

"The team have worked hard on pulling back the deficit these regulations have made for us."

Symonds added that while last year's car was very competitive in the hands of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, Williams has worked hard to identify its areas of weakness and improve on them for 2015.

"The notion for the FW37 was to look closely at the FW36 and its performances," he said.

"We then went about recognising what had worked well and identifying and resolving the areas that we felt needed to be improved.

"We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance.

"The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass."

2014 DEVELOPMENT PUSH

Williams's strong form last year meant that the team continued developing the 2014 car until late in the season, but Symonds is adamant that it will not fall behind at the start of this season as a result.

"The desire to beat Ferrari to third place in the constructors' championship in 2014 meant we pushed our development through to late autumn," he said.

"But the size of the team is now at a point where it was able to sustain this development while still working on the FW37."

Team principal Frank Williams stated that the main aim for this year is simply for the team to keep moving up the grid.

"After a very strong first year with Mercedes engines we are looking to further develop the relationship as we look for more podiums in 2015," said Williams.

"The team had a fantastic season last year, we are aiming to replicate this development over the winter and to start the 2015 season in a strong position.

"We have an enormously talented group of people here at Williams who produced a great turnaround in fortunes in 2014 and everybody has worked tirelessly to continue that climb up the grid."

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