Williams seeking to take a significant step forward

24/02/2011
NEWS STORY

With the two Lotus teams both having opted for a retro look, it shouldn't have come as too big a surprise to see another F1 team seemingly looking to return to its roots in an attempt to recreate past glories

While the 'new' livery on the Williams FW33 unveiled at Grove this morning didn't feature any new sponsors, it did put everyone in mind of the Rothmans sponsored cars of the British outfit's glory years.

Introducing the car, technical director Sam Michael admitted that the team is seeking a significant step forward this season.

"We know it's not easy but we hope that this car will take us a step closer to where the leaders are," he told Reuters. "As a team we are more ambitious than we have ever been, there's bits and pieces on the car that we know are good but we also realise that it's a difficult task out there.

After three pre-season tests, in terms of innovation, the Australian feels that four teams stand out, one of them being his own.

"There's the Williams gearbox, the Red Bull exhaust system and the way it blows the diffuser, there's the Renault exhaust system and the way it blows the front of the diffuser and there's the Toro Rosso double floor," he said. "Those four things are the ones that stand out.

"People have got nice cars and they've pushed and tweaked and done things differently," he continued, "but the other things aren't differentiators. Those four things I can see creating a difference during the year."

Having seen the difference various innovations such as the blown diffuser and F-duct have made last season, Michael admits that his team has been thoroughly investigating its rivals ideas.

"We know what the various numbers say on each of them," he said. So we are busy deciding out of the other three things we don't have on the car which ones we will pursue.

"The Red Bull exhaust is the easiest one to copy," he admitted. "But the Toro Rosso double floor and even the Renault exhaust is still just bodywork. It might take you a couple of months to do it, but you can do it during a season. Whereas a gearbox is a completely different kettle of fish really."

Despite a tightening of the regulations, which sees the banning of the double diffuser and F-duct, the Australian admits that he is delighted with the amount of innovation still happening within the sport.

"I thought with such restrictive rules, the cars would start to become boring and Formula One might become boring," he said. "But its actually had the opposite effect in that people are pushing harder and harder to find advantages in smaller things. I think that's been quite good for Formula One.

"It's surprising. You look at all the cars up and down the grid and they are all pretty different, aren't they? You wouldn't have predicted that with what's happening with the regulations."

To check out our FW33 livery gallery, click here.

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Published: 24/02/2011
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