WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING DAY TWO
Driver: Lance Stroll
Chassis / Engine: FW40-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Weather: Cool and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 16ºC / 24ºC
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering:
Lance was on lap six of his second run when he had a spin. The grip was particularly low and so he spun and went through the gravel backwards. Even though the accident was entirely innocuous we’ve unfortunately had quite a bit of accident damage, which we’re now in the process of repairing. We’re having to send some composite parts back to the factory, which will be back with us at some point tomorrow. We’re doing the upmost we can now to get back out on track at the earliest opportunity tomorrow. We will be able to recover the programme in the coming days.
It is still early days and I have only done a handful of laps. I am just getting to grips with the FW40, and there is still a lot of time ahead of us. It was good to finally get behind the wheel to just get a feel for it. Like I said, it is still early days, so I need to do a lot more running before I know exactly where I am and where the car is at. I will have a much better picture once we have more laps under our belts, but it was good to break the ice and I am looking forward to some more running.
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING LAUNCH THE FW40 AS THE 2017 SEASON GETS UNDERWAY
The Williams Mercedes FW40 broke cover at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain today as the teams gathered for the first of eight preseason test days.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Williams competing at the pinnacle of motor racing, the team’s 2017 chassis is named the FW40, following on from last season’s FW38.
Commenting ahead of the 2017 season Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said: “This season is one synonymous with change. Not only are we competing under a new set of regulations, but for the first time since 2013 our driver line-up features a new face in the form of 2016 FIA European Formula 3 Champion, Lance Stroll. He takes on his rookie year alongside Felipe Massa, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid.
“After finishing fifth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2016, it will be a challenging year – especially as we enter this new era of racing. However, the team have been working extremely hard over the winter to deliver the maximum performance out of the car going into a brand new season.
“We hope that everyone’s hard work over the winter will have paid off, but it’s now a waiting game to see where we stand in relation to our rivals. We are ready for 2017. With changes up and down the grid, a new era is upon us and we will keep pushing to get Williams back to where it should be.”
“There have been a lot of changes at Grove over the winter that could have been considerably distracting for all involved in the delivery of the FW40, but everyone has been incredibly professional, rolling up their sleeves and getting on with what’s important. Frank, myself and the Board are extremely grateful to everyone at the factory for all their efforts over the winter. I hope they, our partners and our fans are rewarded with a more competitive year on track this season.”
After coming out of retirement to compete in a fourth successive season with Williams, Felipe Massa said: “I can’t believe we’re back racing again already. It’s amazing to have another year with the team – after my very short retirement! I always knew I wouldn’t stop racing and I was delighted to get the opportunity to return with Williams, it’s the one team I feel a lot of love for.
“I have a new team mate this year in Lance and I’m confident he will use his youth to his advantage and learn quickly. Having raced in F1 for many years I will be happy to share my experience with him and I know we will work well together which will only be a good thing for the team as a whole.”
“I’m looking forward to racing the FW40. 40 years in racing is a significant and special milestone for Williams so I really hope we can make this year a great one. Everything is reset with the new rules this year so it’s important we are ready for anything.”
Lance Stroll, who will be competing in his debut season in Formula One, said: “I can’t wait for the season to start! It feels like a long time coming. However, I feel like I’m as prepared as I can be – a lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to help get me to this point and I’m very grateful for that. I hope that it’s a good first year for me but I will be taking it race by race. There is a lot of pressure on rookies but I have a great team around me and I just need to maintain focus and deliver. Kicking the season off with testing will be a good first step but Melbourne will be the real test for everyone.”
The FW40 will take to the track for the first time on Monday 27th February for eight days of testing, concluding on 10th March. The season officially begins at the first race in Melbourne, Australia, on 26th March.
THE NEW HAAS VF17 HAS ARRIVED
BARCELONA, Spain (Feb. 26, 2017) – Haas F1 Team’s 2017 challenger in the FIA Formula One World Championship, the VF-17, made its official debut today via the organization’s social media platforms and website. It hits the track Monday for the first day of preseason testing at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.
The VF-17 follows the team’s very first car, the VF-16, which carried Haas F1 Team to an eighth-place finish in the 2016 constructor standings. Twenty-nine points were scored by the VF-16 during Haas F1 Team’s inaugural season, the largest points haul of any new Formula One team in this millennium.
Incorporating “VF” into the name of the car is a nod to the history of Haas Automation, the team’s title sponsor. The first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation was the VF-1 in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.
As chairman of Haas F1 Team, the “F1” moniker of that first machine takes on added significance as Haas prepares for its second Formula One season.
“Being a Formula One participant brings a level of credibility that you just won’t get through traditional advertising,” says Haas, whose entry in 2016 became the first American Formula One team since 1986. “People are kind of ‘show me’ people, like show me what you can do and then I’ll believe in you. That was the initial concept – to convince people of our ability to do things others can’t, and I think that translates into being a machine tool builder.
“Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. People see what we can do in Formula One, and people believe Haas Automation can build world-class machine tools.”
The VF-17 was built under a new set of technical regulations featuring an advanced aerodynamic package designed to create a higher level of downforce. A wider front wing, larger barge boards, a lower and wider rear wing and a diffuser that expands 50 millimeters (two inches) in height and width comprise the changes, along with wider tires from Pirelli, by 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in the front and 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) in the rear, a 25-percent increase to bring the front tires to 305 millimeters (12 inches) and the rear tires to 405 millimeters (15.9 inches).
“I think the pedal box is the same, but all the rest is very different from last year’s car,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “You always try to make a faster car, which is normally a lighter car. Now we can put on more ballast and get better weight distribution. The aero is completely new, as are the tires, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability.
“Aesthetically, the car has a more aggressive look. It’s lighter and more aerodynamically efficient. Everything we learned from our first car has been applied to our new car.”
The colors from the original car were carried over to the VF-17, but the overall scheme is different. A dark gray makes up the majority of the livery, with tones of red, black, white and light gray incorporating the look of Haas Automation’s complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting its machines to more than 60 countries. The VF-17 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.
The VF-17 tests at Barcelona Feb. 27-March 2 and again March 7-10 before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix March 26 in Melbourne
THE NEW WILLIAMS FW40
The Williams Mercedes FW40 was revealed online today ahead of pre-season testing in Barcelona. This is a precursor to the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona, where the car will be seen on track for the first time with Felipe Massa behind the wheel on Monday 27th February.
With the first race of the 2017 Formula One season just around the corner, it’s shaping up to be one of the most highly-anticipated seasons in recent memory.
The new regulations could shake up the grid as everyone tries to find the best solution to the new regulations. This season, we will see the return of wider tyres, as well as revamped aerodynamics and a more physically demanding experience for the drivers.
Celebrating 40 years in the sport this year, the first image of the team’s 2017 challenger, the Williams Mercedes FW40, shows a very different look to 2016’s FW38.
This season we will see wider bodywork, wider front and rear wings, and fatter tyres. As a result of this, there will be a significant increase in downforce and mechanical grip with the 2017 cars really able to attack the corners, significantly faster than they have done in recent years. That, in turn, means braking distances will be reduced and G-loading will increase.
Drivers will be pushed to their limits physically, which is why a key focus for them over the winter has been on training hard in preparation, with the primary focus on upper body strength. With the increased downforce there comes an increase in drag, and in some cases a reduction in the higher top speeds we have seen in recent years. That doesn’t mean laptimes will increase though, quite the opposite.
Laptimes are predicted to fall and lap records are expected to be broken. To set blistering laptimes, teams will need some heavy duty rubber to stick to the track. Pirelli have certainly delivered that with the significantly wider front and rear tyres. The front tyres are 60mm wider, but the rear tyres have increased by a staggering 80mm. This also poses a new challenge for the pit crew with heavier tyres and modified wheel guns needed. Practice is underway as the team prepares to fight to keep its position as the fastest pit crew in Formula One.
In order to be quick out of the blocks, teams will need to understand the new tyres, and do so quickly if they want to be, and remain, competitive. The team has increased its effort in this area which will hopefully mean it can start the season already having a good understanding of the new rubber. In-season tyre testing will also be more crucial than ever before, as understanding the tyres and how they work will be one of the key factors in pulling performance from the car.
Although cosmetically the 2017 cars will look very different to their 2016 predecessors, the core of the car, the power unit and the areas situated around the power unit, have not changed a great deal.
Barcelona’s pre-season testing will give teams the first real indication of how the cars are going to perform. But, similar to the engine regulation change in 2014, no one will have a real sense of the pecking order until we get to Melbourne. Even then, things can change extremely quickly, especially when the margins between success and failure are as slight as they are in Formula One.
THE FERRARI SF70H IS HERE
The 63rd single-seater designed and built by Scuderia Ferrari to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship is born out of a regulation change that is without precedent in this category of motor sport. Generally, in the past, regulations went in the direction of slowing down the cars. However, this year, the rule changes go in the opposite direction, meaning the cars have more aerodynamic downforce and more mechanical grip.
On this topic, the Gestione Sportiva group has concentrated its efforts on finding the right compromise between downforce and aerodynamic resistance, or drag. The new Pirelli tyres are much wider than in the past, by 6 centimetres each at the front and 8 at the rear. This increased frontal area constitutes a “brake” on forward motion as does the increased downforce coming from the 2017 specification front wing, floor and diffuser. Countering this effect, the combination of downforce and the bigger footprint from the tyres translates into increased grip, leading to higher cornering speeds.
There are several differences between the 668 project and Ferraris from the recent past: the lengthened nose and the arrow-shaped wing are a consequence of the regulations, as is the obvious fin on the engine cover and the more complex aero appendages ahead of the air intakes on the sidepods, whose unusual shape was designed in harmony with the front crash structure. Visible at the front is a duct that has an aerodynamic role, while behind the driver, the roll-hoop, which incorporates the engine air intake has been completely redesigned. Also updated is the suspension layout, which still retains a push rod design at the front with pull rods at the rear. The hubs and wheel nuts have been redesigned to facilitate the work of the mechanics when changing wheels during the pit stops. Finally, also as a function of the expected increase in performance this year, the power-steering and braking systems have been upsized.
In contrast to the aerodynamics, when it comes to the power unit, there have been few changes to the regulations. The main one concerns the amount of fuel that can be used by each car during the race: with the predicted increase in performance, with a bigger percentage of each lap spent at full revs, the permitted amount of fuel has increased from 100 to 105 Kg, although the flow rate is still fixed at 100 kg/hour. The 062 engine is a definite step forward compared to its predecessor, when it comes to chasing performance. The layout of some of the mechanical components on the hybrid power unit has been revised, while other areas maintain a similar layout to the 2016 car. On the sporting regulation front, the abolition of the “Token” system allows the teams more room for development over the course of the season.