Tag: Williams

F1: Susie Wolff to drive new Williams car on first day of Barcelona testing

Susie Wolff will drive the new Williams FW37 on the first day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday.

The Scot, 32, was named the team’s test driver in November after taking part in two practice sessions last year.

Race drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will each get a day and a half in the new car over the following three days of running in Barcelona.

Bottas will drive the car on Friday before Massa takes over on Saturday, and the pair will share the final day.

Wolff will have her position expanded in 2015 to include two runs in Friday practice and two tests.

The move comes after she impressed in an outing in free practice at the German Grand Prix which followed an appearance at Silverstone in July. Her outing at Silverstone ended after less than a lap when her car suffered engine failure.

She hopes one day to become the first woman to race in a grand prix since Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Williams finished third in the constructors’ championship in 2014, a year after suffering the worst season in their history, following a major internal restructuring and a switch from Renault to Mercedes engines.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Williams takes covers off FW37

Williams has officially unveiled the FW37 in the pit lane on the morning of the first Jerez test.

The FW37 was the first 2015 car to be revealed when Williams released rendered images earlier this month but Sunday morning was the first time it was seen in the flesh. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa took the wraps off the car, with the former set to conduct the first test at the Spanish circuit.

Of interest is the nose, which technical chief Pat Symonds admitted had a big impact on Williams’ development, and stands out as one of the most unique interpretations of the new regulations.

Read more at ESPN

F1: Williams reveal new car for 2015

Williams have become the first team to reveal pictures of a 2015 Formula 1 car and have set a target of moving further up the grid this season.

They were the most-improved team in F1 last year, taking third in the championship, up from ninth in 2013.

Their target is to close the gap on world champions Mercedes and score more than the nine podiums achieved in 2014.

The team retained their driver line-up of rising Finnish star Valtteri Bottas and Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa.

williams-2015-car-above

Williams also continue with the Mercedes turbo hybrid engine, which was the class of the field in 2014.

Team owner Sir Frank Williams said: “The team had a fantastic season last year. We are aiming to replicate this development over the winter and to start the 2015 season in a strong position.

“Everybody has worked tirelessly to continue that climb up the grid.

“After a very strong first year with Mercedes we are looking to further develop the relationship as we look for more podiums in 2015.

“I feel this year will be equally as exciting as the last and look forward to seeing the car on the grid at the first race.”

Chief technical officer Pat Symonds said: “The difficulty of moving the team up the rankings should never be underestimated” and said Williams had focused on “consolidation and incremental improvement”.

The new FW37 car is visually similar to its predecessor, but this hides significant changes under the skin.

The most obvious re-design is around the nose section.

This is in response to revised rules that have outlawed on safety grounds the ‘anteater’ noses that proliferated in 2014. These will force most of the teams to revisit their designs.

The new rules make it harder to extract aerodynamic performance from the front of the car and the design teams will have focused on retrieving as much as possible.

The new Williams still has a tip but it is much smaller than last year and protrudes from a square section, the minimum width of which is defined by the rules.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Williams recruits Button’s engineer to work with Massa

Williams has poached Jenson Button’s old race engineer from McLaren to work with Felipe Massa this season.

Dave Robson was Button’s engineer from 2010 to midway through last year, but has now joined Williams to work under head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley. Robson’s appointment has kicked off a reshuffle in the Williams engineering department with Andrew Murdoch, Massa’s old engineer, being promoted to senior performance engineer, a largely factory-based role but one that will also see him work with Valtteri Bottas at the track.

Jonathan Eddolls remains as Bottas’ race engineer while Carl Gaden has been promoted from chief mechnanic – a role he has held for 22 years – to senior car systems engineer. Mark Pattinson, previously No.1 mechanic to Massa, will take over the role of chief mechanic.

“Off the back of a great 2014 campaign Williams is determined to continue this positive momentum into the new season, and these recent changes show our commitment to that goal,” chief technical officer Pat Symonds said. “We are proud to be able to promote our existing talent to help strengthen every area within our engineering team and we will continue to invest in new talent where necessary to ensure we have the support and resources to achieve our on-track ambitions throughout 2015 and beyond. Our engineering team for the coming season is looking strong and I’m excited to get the new season underway.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: Williams: Our 2014 proves costs are not restrictive

Williams thinks its success in 2014 is the perfect answer to those saying the cost of F1 prevents smaller teams from competing at a higher level.

Williams is a member of the Strategy Group which voted against the budget cap at the start of the year, a decision which was partly blamed for the demise of Caterham and Marussia. The plight of those two teams prompted Force India, Sauber and Lotus to lead a charge against the high costs and unequal revenue sharing in the sport, though a resolution is yet to be found on the issue.

Team principal Claire Williams believes her team, which finished third in the constructors’ championship and above Ferrari for the first time since 1997, is proof a smaller budget is not completely restrictive.

“For us, from where we were last season, it’s such an amazing achievement against the likes of Ferrari which is operating on a budget twice the size of ours,” Williams said. “That’s such an achievement and, for me, that says everything that we need to say around all of the conversations going on at the moment.”

When asked about the demands of the three teams related to cost control, Williams said: “Formula One is what it is. We’ve been in this sport long enough to know that.”

McLaren has switched to Honda power for the 2015 campaign, with Ron Dennis saying it is impossible for a customer team to challenge for a championship. But Williams disagrees with that assessment and thinks her team is a historical example of why that is not the case.

“We have a great engine supplier in Mercedes and we’re lucky to have a great relationship with them. At the moment that works but if an engine manufacturer came in and talked to us, why wouldn’t you have that conversation? Of course you would. But I know there have been comments in the press recently saying you can’t survive unless you’ve got that backing, it’s totally not correct. We’ve survived for many years – in fact for all our time in Formula One – without having an engine manufacturer solely looking after us and there’s no reason we can’t continue to do that.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: Wolff promoted to test driver at Williams

Susie Wolff has been promoted to test driver at Williams following Felipe Nasr’s move to a Sauber race seat for next season.

The role will offer Wolff two first practice sessions at grand prix weekends and two days of testing in next year’s Williams FW37. Wolff has been the team’s development driver for the past three years and will continue to conduct extensive simulator testing at the team’s factory.

Wolff made her grand prix debut during first practice at this year’s British round but was limited to just a handful of laps due to an engine issue. She had a more productive session at the German Grand Prix and is hoping to continue to build on her experience next season.

“This is another step in the right direction for me,” she said. “I am delighted Williams are recognising my progression, hard work and that it is performance that counts. Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history and we are moving into 2015 with fantastic momentum, I’m proud to be part of the team. I’ll be using my position to work closely with Felipe and Valtteri to make sure that the FW37 builds on the strong performance shown by the FW36.”

Claire Williams, deputy team principal of Williams, added; “We are delighted to have Susie continuing with the team next season in this new role. She continues to impress us with her strong technical knowledge, the feedback she delivers and the performance when she drives the car both on the track and in the simulator. She has steadily increased her time behind the wheel since she joined us in April 2012 and her appointment as Official Test Driver was a natural progression. We have a very strong and stable driver line-up for 2015 and this will be a key asset as we look to build on a positive 2014 season.”

The team is currently evaluating a number of drivers to replace Susie as development driver.

Read more at EPSN

F1: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Brazil win

Nico Rosberg held off Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to win a race-long battle at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton fought back to close a seven-second margin after a spin at about one-third distance just as he appeared to be set to take the lead.

But Rosberg did just enough to hold him off in a tense final part of the race.

It reduces Hamilton’slead in the title race to 17 points, with 50 available in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m very happy with the whole weekend,” said Rosberg. “I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car and controlled the gap to Lewis in the race.”

Hamilton can win the title by finishing second to Rosberg in Abu Dhabi on 23 November, even though double points will be on offer.

But the Englishman may rue a half-spin on lap 28 which, as it turned out, decided the race in Brazil.

Rosberg had made his second pit stop on lap 26, with Hamilton less than two seconds behind him.

Hamilton stayed out. He set the fastest lap of the race to that point next time around, having set three sectors that were the fastest anyone had set up to that point.

The Mercedes engineers calculated that his first lap had not been enough to leapfrog him ahead and decided to keep him out for one more lap to give him extra time to build the advantage he needed.

But he dropped a wheel on to the white line on the entry to Turn Four, the Descido do Lago and ran wide into the run-off area, half-spinning.

Hamilton said: “Ultimately it cost me the win. I was a much quicker up to that point. I went a second quicker, thought I was going to pit on that lap, used all my tyres and on the next lap there was nothing left.

“I locked the rear and went wide. No-one’s mistake but mine.”

The incident cost Hamilton seven seconds, which he reduced to two over the course of their third stint.

Read more on BBC Sport