SportF1Why Williams will abandon its original 2022 concept

Why Williams will abandon its original 2022 concept

It was the technical director of the Williams team, François-Xavier Demaison , who assured that “we can really call it a new car, because the list of parts that we keep is much shorter than those that we have changed”.

There are few parts of the FW44 that have not been touched. The remodeling of the wings, floor, sidepods, engine cover, suspension, diffuser and internals has been as extensive as it could be, and is expected to lay the groundwork for a better second half of the season. .

But although Williams and Alex Albon, who was the one who was able to use the new parts exclusively, have not seen the full potential of the new package, due to both the wet weekend and the unfortunate accident they suffered in the first lap, there were some encouraging flashes of pace during the Silverstone weekend that have lifted spirits in the team about what he has introduced.

The new design has brought Williams closer to the concept of Red Bull’s sidepods, but the changes go further and it would be wrong to suggest that the Grove team has simply copied the Milton Keynes team as the one that is winning.

Rather, the Silverstone update is the end result of months of work after Williams quickly came to the conclusion at the start of the season that its original concept was not the one that was going to produce the best performance with the current Set of rules.

And, in an attempt to come up with a new plan, he needed time to assess what his rivals had done and then fully understand the impact the changes would have.

Asked by about the timing of the decision to opt for a new car, Demaison said: “It was tricky.

“Our [original] concept was mainly about creating downforce with a low ride height. And with this ground effect that everyone is talking about, we said, ‘no, this is not the right direction.'”

“As soon as we wanted to go low and push the rear stiffness a little bit, it was too difficult. We were wearing the board down and the riders were complaining. So we said we were going to go in another direction.”

Alex Albon, Williams FW44, kicks up sparks

Instead of rushing in early in the year, Williams opted to take as much time as they needed and not come up with changes until everything was fully thought through and ready.

“We saw many, many other cars going in other directions,” Demaison added. “We are not so stupid as not to look the other way and not see what others are doing.”

“For this, it took a bit of time and analysis before we were ready, because we didn’t want to copy without understanding. That’s why we only see it in race 10, because we wanted to understand the concept first.

But while the new car’s starts have been far from ideal, and the team may suffer further delays after Albon’s crash at the British GP damaged many of the components, Demaison sees the Williams switch as the start of a new journey.

“It’s not the end of the story,” he said. “I think we have a lot of different solutions that we have already tested, and we will continue with this concept. It opens a lot more doors, whereas the previous concept meant we were stuck.”

“It gives you the option to get a softer car, with a higher ride height. You don’t lose as much in the slow sections with the lack of mechanical grip or the lack of downforce. And all of that adds up to lap time.” the technical director of the Grove team.

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