Williams to trial experimental F1 front wing design at Japanese GP

Williams is poised to trial an experimental front wing in practice for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix as it assesses its aerodynamic options for next year's Formula 1 season

Williams to trial experimental F1 front wing design at Japanese GP

The team had previously stated that the design of its 2020 car would be an evolution of this year's FW42, before F1 evolves into a new ground-effect aero ruleset in '21.

For this year's ruleset, varying front wing philosophies have been deployed by the teams, without the usual pattern of convergence seen in F1 aerodynamic development.

Williams' senior race engineer Dave Robson describes the new wing as an "experiment", and it is expected to look visually different, which suggests a change in the team's concept.

"Hopefully there will be a test front wing [at Suzuka] that should look a little bit different," he said.

"If we get it there, and we run it on the Friday, you'll soon spot that. It's kind of an experiment.

"It's hard to know [what the best concept is], that's part of the experiment; it's interesting even now, when you look at the pitlane as the cars come out and there's a couple of different distinct schools of thought in the front wing design.

"Even almost a year on, it's not like everyone's snapped to the same design, so there's a few different ideas and concepts out there.

"It's an experiment for us and we'll see how it goes; hopefully it'll correlate well with what we expect and use that as the basis going into next year.

"You're still getting around doing the best job we can with the new rules to try and control the front tyre wake as it passes further down the back of the car.

"Everyone's doing the same thing but in different ways, and that's about getting that dirty air out of the way. It's just another slightly different way of doing that."

When asked by Autosport if the new wing might remain on the car for the rest of the season, Robson hinted that it may do so if it delivers the results expected.

"It might do, but we're not assuming that at the moment, it's very much part of the R&D for next year at this stage," he said. "But we'll see how it performs."

So far in 2019, Williams's developments for its front wing have been minimal, as it has retained the machete-shaped wing elements throughout the year.

But the team has updated its endplate, opting for a smaller, more rectangular cutout in the upper trailing edge corner to assist with the direction of outwashing air.

Further Williams updates appear to be in the pipeline for the rest of 2019, although it is currently unknown what these may be.

"There's a few more bits and pieces," said Robson.

"Some things that might stay on the car for the rest of the season if they're better, other things that are just more R&D-type work and finalising the aero plans for next year - and checking correlation back to the tunnel again."

shares
comments
Max Verstappen's theory for Red Bull F1 team's loss of Sochi pace

Previous article

Max Verstappen's theory for Red Bull F1 team's loss of Sochi pace

Next article

Mercedes reveals cost of 2018 Formula 1 world championship win

Mercedes reveals cost of 2018 Formula 1 world championship win
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
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

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
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