Williams became the first team to show its 2016 car when it revealed images of the FW38 via Twitter today.
The Grove team has tried to address the weaknesses of last year’s package, and specifically slow speed performance.
“The FW37 was a pretty effective car and so we concentrated on understanding the areas where we could improve it without losing the attributes which made it effective,” said chief technical officer Pat Symonds. “It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn’t match its high speed performance, so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation. On top of this we looked at the normal physical obstacles to development that one always meets during the life of a car and tried to push those barriers back.
Regarding when the design process started he added: “This is always slightly difficult to answer precisely as one is always discussing the path of improved performance with the senior engineers. However in mid-January 2015, before the FW37 had even run, we held a meeting to try and work our way through a concept ‘shopping list’ and to narrow down the areas in which we hoped the FW38 would out perform its pre-nascent forerunner.
“As we started running the FW37 we could see more clearly the design directions we wanted to take with the next car and at the same time started laying out the basic architecture such that critical path items would hit their design release targets. The monocoque and gearbox, for example, fall into this category as both need considerable time, not just in design but also in structural analysis.”