Williams has released the first images of its 2014 race car, the Williams Mercedes FW36.
The FW36 is the culmination of more than two years research and development by the team’s technical departments and it incorporates the power unit from the team’s new partner, Mercedes-Benz.
“There’s a lot more technology on the cars this year,” says Williams Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds. “We’ve had turbo-charged engines in F1 before; what’s different this time is that it is much more than just an engine change, it is a completely different system. We’ve gone from a slightly hybridized normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.”
“Overall the cars will need more cooling this year,” says Symonds. “The demands on water and oil cooling may be slightly diminished, but the ERS system is significantly more powerful and hence needs more cooling. We also have to cool the charge air from the turbocharger compressor which requires a substantial intercooler.”
The weight of the car, when combined with the FIA’s ever more stringent crash tests, has been another challenge of the 2014 rules. “The build of the new car has gone remarkably smoothly,” says Symonds. “But it’s been a challenge to get the car down to the weight limit. It’s been achievable, but it hasn’t been easy because the new power unit is heavier than the outgoing V8.”
“F1 is still going to be an aerodynamic formula in 2014,” says Symonds. “There are some significant changes: the nose is lower than last year and the front wing is narrower, which means the end plates are now more shrouded by the front tire. The rear wing isn’t as deep as last year and the beam wing below it is no longer permitted, and we’ve also lost the ability to use the exhaust to enhance aero performance.”
Formula One veteran driver Felipe Massa will drive for Williams in 2014, alongside Valtteri Bottas.