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Formula 1

What Williams expects from major package and why only one is ready

by Edd Straw, Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Williams has brought a major upgrade package to Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix, although it will only be used on Alex Albon’s car.

The bodywork changes include the engine cover, sidepod inlet and halo, the floor geometry including the forward fences and diffuser profile is new, and there are angle changes to the rear suspension that have also influenced rear brake duct winglet and rear wing design changes.

Comparison Rear Body Williams Canada

However, Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson admitted that “most of the work has been done on the underside of the floor”, which is out of sight.

“The top body is visibly different with a more pronounced channel,” he said. “There are a few other minor changes, like the mirror stems and winglet, all just helping guide that flow down.

“All of the rear suspension legs are reorientated to go with that revised flow structure and the brake duct winglets are all updated again for the same reason.”

This package has been months in the making but the reason there is only enough for Albon to race (with a full set of spares) is a run of crash damage since Australia complicated manufacturing and thwarted Williams’s plan to have the upgrade readied for both cars.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Australian Grand Prix Race Day Melbourne, Australia

Logan Sargeant should have the upgrade plus spares at the next race in Austria before another upgrade at Silverstone the week after.

For now, Williams expects the increased load from these changes to bear fruit immediately.

“It should be a decent step,” said Robson. “We invested quite a lot in it.

“Canada’s not the most downforce sensitive circuit so maybe we won’t see a massive change in laptime here but as long as we measure the increase in load we should see that at the next round of circuits.”

Robson admitted that this package has spent “quite a long time” in a gestation period as Williams aimed for it to improve specific weaknesses not just improve the output of what it already had.

Even if this is not a track that will be best suited to the type of changes the new package is intended to achieve, Williams is more optimistic about its prospects for the Montreal weekend after its toughest race of the season in Spain.

Comparison Body Williams Canada

Having started the year expecting to be F1’s slowest team, Albon scored a point in the season opener and Williams had a competitive first few races.

But Albon said its true performance level was exposed in Spain after a run of early races on less conventional circuits and now wants to see how Williams fares on a more “characterful” track again, with a better car.

“We’ve been pretty hard at work the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“Nothing too big actually, balance-wise. It feels quite similar. It’s more just a general downforce difference.

“We’ve done a good job. I do think it’s going to put us more into the fight with the midfield, something which we’ve been falling away a little bit from the last few races.

“So hopefully it can just get us back into the fighting area for points.”

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