Tag Archives: Williams-Renault FW35

Formula 1

FW36 Front


23 January 2014. Grove, UK. Williams today released the first images of its 2014 challenger: the Williams Mercedes FW36. The FW36 is one of the most technologically advanced Formula One cars produced by Williams. It is the culmination of more than two years research and development by the team’s technical departments in Grove 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 hybridised normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.”

FW36 Side

To meet the challenges of the new power unit, Williams signed the deal with Mercedes Benz High Performance Powertrains midway through last season. The team received the first CAD (Computer-Aided Design) data for the power unit at the end of May, at which point the detailed design of the FW36 could begin to be finalised.

“This is the first time that Williams has worked with Mercedes in F1 and we’ve been very impressed,” says Symonds. “Their professionalism and commitment have been notable and we’re as confident as we can be that the power unit will be competitive.”

The design phase of the FW36 was completed by mid-September, by which time the team had found solutions to the major challenges presented by the regulations. Cooling, weight, a new gearbox and aerodynamic changes are just some of the areas of focus.

“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 FW36’s gearbox ran on the dyno for the first time at the beginning of November, before running with the full power unit several weeks later. It’s the first eight-speed gearbox in Williams’ history.

“We finished the gearbox relatively early,” says Symonds. “It’s completed a lot of running on the test rig and at Mercedes HPP in Brixworth, but you can’t take reliability for granted. It’s a completely new ‘box and it has to cope with a lot more torque than was the case with the V8.”

The weight of the car, when combined with the FIA’s ever more stringent crash tests, has been another challenge of the 2014 rules. But the FW36 was one of the first cars to pass its crash tests prior to Christmas.

“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.”

The launch-spec aerodynamic package was finalised in the first week of December, with an upgrade package for Melbourne’s season-opener signed off in early January.

“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 tyre. 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.”

Until the car begins testing next week the team won’t know how its design solutions will translate onto the track, but Symonds is confident that Williams has done enough to move up the grid after a disappointing 2013 season.

“I’m confident that we’ll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year,” says Symonds. “Our ambition for the year ahead is to have a strong 2014 season.”

Formula 1

Williams F1


Q: You have recently been appointed Chief Technical Officer of the Williams F1 Team – what does this new challenge entail?

Firstly, I think it’s a great team. The facilities are top class, we have a huge number of talented people and yet the results on the track are not a reflection of the quality we have. So I think my challenge is to analyse why this is happening, make the changes that are needed to empower the people and really get the focus in one direction: performance.

Q: What does it mean to you to join the Williams F1 Team?

Funnily enough I was reminded the other day, by a good friend, that many years ago when I was at Renault I was quoted as saying that the only other team in Formula One that I would work for was Williams. It’s taken me a long while to get here, but now I’m here I’m very happy to be.

I’ve been here in Grove for a couple of days now and the first thing that strikes me is how welcome I’ve been made. I’ve over 500 new names to learn and I need to learn my way around the place so it’s a bit like the first day at school!  I’m impressed by what I see though: the facilities are fantastic; I know a lot of the people are very good and I feel confident.

Q: What does it mean to now be working alongside Sir Frank Williams – who has previously been one of your biggest rivals?

Frank has always been a fierce competitor but one that always competes with a lot of honour and dignity. Sometimes I beat him, sometimes I lost to him but I always had the utmost respect for him. I’m really thrilled that now we can combine our efforts to beat our competitors.

Q: Looking back at your career – you have worked with many outstanding drivers – who has been the most interesting to work with so far?

The most interesting are not always the most outstanding and I’ve met many who were very interesting over the years! I’ve always enjoyed working with every driver in different ways. I’ve worked with many outstanding drivers from Senna, Schumacher, and Alonso but if I had to pick one, I do have a special place for Michael (Schumacher). He is obviously a super talent, he very much thinks like an engineer and yet he’s also a really great person, so I definitely have a soft spot for him.

Q: From what you have seen, what do you think about the team’s current driver line-up of Pastor Maldonado & Valtteri Bottas?

So far I have really only seen them from the outside. I was able to spend time with both of them on my second day at Grove and what I can see is that they are both extremely committed and determined to see the team progress. I’m looking forward to working together with them to achieve greater success. They strike me as intelligent and committed drivers so let’s give them some equipment to show their talent.

Q: Your 30 year Formula One career has seen you achieve success with some of the sport’s most accomplished teams and drivers. With 32 race wins, four Drivers’ World Championships and three Constructors’ World Championships – what would you say was your proudest achievement to date?

I always say my best race is my next one. I’m not really a person that tends to look backwards very much but if you ask me specifically then the mid-90s with Michael and mid-2000s with Fernando, where we had a lot of dominant wins, of course I’m proud of those achievements. But in a different vein, I’m equally proud of the non-racing aspects. The work I’ve done building up various teams and people. It’s nice to see some guys who worked with me when they were very young now in senior positions at various teams. I certainly enjoy the mentoring and development of people.

Q: What do you hope to bring to Williams and how do you think your working style can benefit the team?

My primary aim is to bring success back to the team and I will be very singular in my focus to achieve that. I want the people who are working with me to enjoy that success and be an integral part of bringing Williams back to where I think it should be. It will take time to analyse what is happening and improve things but it’s up to me to facilitate this process.

Q: Coming into the team at this stage, can you make a difference this season or will your focus be on next year?

There are developments going on for the remainder of this season. We have new parts coming to races as far out as Korea and beyond. They are not things I’ve had influence on but I can see them in the development programme. I hope we can look at some smaller details from the wind tunnel to improve things over the coming races and I’ll be looking at the operational side too. Fundamentality focus has to be much more towards 2014 as it’s an immensely difficult programme, the most difficult we have had to tackle for a long while. The FW36 is well underway and I think it’s important I get my influence onto that. However, my influence will be much more on process rather than detail, so I hope that pays off and leads to the sort of structure that can lead to on-going success for the team.

Formula 1

Williams F1


Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: The Hungaroring is one of the most challenging circuits of the year with the potential high ambient temperatures also putting extra demand on the drivers. The layout is quite technical; one corner quickly flows into the next and there are not many straights to be able to relax. The circuit layout leads to medium-low average speeds and so we run the maximum downforce configuration. You would think that because the average corner speed is medium-low that the tyres don’t suffer as much, but because of the number of corners, it’s unrelenting and a lot of energy goes through the rubber. Pirelli are introducing new tyres for the race in Hungary, so we will be aiming to fine tune our set-up on Friday to try to get the best out of them this weekend.

Pastor Maldonado: I have driven at the Hungaroring for a few years now and it is a very demanding circuit for drivers as it is often very hot and there are limited overtaking opportunities. There will be new tyres from Pirelli this weekend that combine last year’s construction with this year’s compounds, so understanding how these will perform will be a primary focus for the teams as we prepare for this race. Testing these tyres at Silverstone in the Young Driver’s Test has given me an insight into the changes made, but it will only be after practice on Friday that can we sit down and analyse all the data and discuss our strategy for the weekend.  Qualifying is so important at this track because of the small number of overtaking opportunities, but I qualified well last year so I know what to expect and can hopefully deliver a strong performance that will give the team a boost as we head into the summer break.

Valtteri Bottas: I have raced at the Hungaroring in Formula Renault and GP3 and drove in FP1 last year and I always found this to be a very demanding track because there are very few places to overtake and the layout has a lot of corners in quick succession which gives you very few opportunities to rest. The track can be a bit dusty at the beginning of the week as it doesn’t get used much during the year, but the grip does increase a lot as the weekend progresses and you notice a big difference between FP1 and FP2. The team were very close to securing a double points finish in Germany and the hard work everyone is putting in is moving us in the right direction. There is normally a big Finnish contingent who fly over to Hungary for this race and I’d like to be able to give them something to cheer about and secure some points for the team.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Head of Track Operations: The twisty 4.381km circuit is often compared to a kart track, with one slow speed corner leading into another in very quick succession. This sinuous nature gives rise to the second lowest average speed over a lap (after Monaco) so power sensitivity and outright engine power is not a major concern. As a result we generally use engines on the third race and work to deliver good low speed torque response and driveability.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: We’re taking the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres to the Hungaroring, which after analysis of all our data is set to provide the best compromise between performance and durability, while maintaining a good show for all the spectators who come so enthusiastically to this circuit. We’ll be using the specification of tyres tested by the teams at Silverstone last week, with the 2012 construction matched to the 2013 compounds. We’re expecting high temperatures, which adds to the work done by the tyres, although wear and degradation is generally low at the Hungaroring because the average speeds there are low as well.

Formula 1

Williams F1 fb


Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: This weekend is the Williams F1 Team’s home race and it is always great to be amongst all our fans. It is also one of our most successful races, with ten wins in total for the team in Britain. The new circuit layout, introduced in 2010, has the second highest average speed of any circuit on the calendar, behind Monza, and the average corner speed is the highest of any circuit this season.

Ambient conditions are typically cool which means good engine power and less chance of thermal degradation in the tyres. The track is relatively rough and tyre energy input is high, higher than Barcelona but much more evenly balanced across the left and right hand sides of the car and more towards the front. Longer range forecasts predict a dry and sunny weekend but whatever conditions we meet, we will be pushing hard to continue the development of the FW35.

Pastor Maldonado: This weekend has been something that the team have been looking forward to all year and I’m proud to be part of this historic moment. Silverstone also happens to be one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. It has a lot of character and some very iconic corners, and the British fans are always very passionate and knowledgeable. With the track being quick and the temperatures usually low it is easy to grain the front tyres and this is something we will have to manage and consider when deciding on the pit stop strategy. The new part of the track is still very green with less grip which is something you have to bear in mind when behind the wheel. Hopefully we can have a strong weekend and score some points to make the weekend even more memorable for the team.

Valtteri Bottas: This is going to be a very special weekend for Williams, celebrating 600 races in front of our home fans at a track which has a lot of history for the team and is great fun to drive. Silverstone is a classic racers track – with some very high speed corners which require a lot of downforce in order to be quick through them. I drove in FP1 last year and at the Young Drivers Test so I have experience of driving a Formula One car at Silverstone which is always helpful in getting up to speed quickly. Normally the track is quite tough on the tyres with quite a bit of graining because the temperatures are cool and the track is very demanding. The weather never makes the circuit any easier due to the often rainy and cold conditions, but after our strong qualifying in Canada in wet conditions I’m confident we would handle this well.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Head of Track Operations: Even with the addition of the new slow loop, Silverstone remains one of the toughest challenges for the engine. A touch over 66% of the lap is spent at full throttle in qualifying and the average speed is well over 200kph. However it is the high speed corners that also challenge the RS27, particularly the sweeping Maggotts-Beckett-Chapel complex. Average speeds through this section are around 250kph and no lower than 190kph at any one point, with huge lateral forces put through the car. The oil and fuel systems therefore have to be resilient as the fluids are squashed from side to side, while the engine needs to be smooth to maintain the speed.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: The contrast between Silverstone and the last round in Montreal couldn’t be greater: we go from a circuit that’s stop-and-start with big braking areas and aggressive kerbs to one of the fastest and most flowing tracks of the year. We’ve chosen the two hardest compounds in the Formula One range – P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium – in order to cope with the high-energy loadings that go hand in hand with the high average speeds you see in Great Britain. The track surface is very smooth, but wear and degradation can be considerable because of all the forces going through the tyres, which peak at around 5g. The big variable in Silverstone is of course the British weather – which is capable of anything. We’ve seen wet and dry races in the past but at the same time it can be very hot too. And obviously, the higher the temperature, the more demands are placed on the tyre. This will be the determining factor for tyre strategy at Silverstone, which as we have seen in the past often has a key influence in the race outcome. Of course strategy begins in qualifying, and we saw from Valtteri Bottas’s Saturday performance in Canada just what a difference it makes to be on the right tyre at the right time.

Formula E

Williams F1


Williams is pleased to announce that Williams Advanced Engineering, the division of the Williams group that commercialises Formula One based technologies, is to partner with Spark Racing Technology to design and assemble a battery system for the 42 cars that will be used in the FIA Formula E Championship.

Spark Racing Technology was created in 2012 and is focused on the manufacture of the cars that will compete in the FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully electric racing series that begins in 2014. Williams Advanced Engineering has signed an exclusive agreement with Spark Racing Technology and will be the sole supplier of battery technology to Formula E.

Williams’ battery energy storage capability first originated from its Formula One programme following the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) into the sport in 2009. Under the Williams Advanced Engineering brand name, Williams is now active in developing both battery and flywheel energy storage systems for motorsport and non-motorsport applications. This has included developing a flywheel hybrid system for Audi’s Le Mans winning R18 e-tron quattro, a flywheel system for London buses with Go-Ahead Group, and a battery hybrid system for the Jaguar C-X75 supercar.

Frederic Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technology, commented; “I am delighted to welcome Williams into our new ambitious project. The vast experience from Williams and especially from Williams Advanced Engineering in the field of hybrid systems and electric engine power, guarantees quality. Spark Racing Technology is extremely proud to bring together some of the biggest names in motorsport and expects no less from Williams as they accompany us in the highest level of the first world championship for electric cars.”

Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams, added; “We are delighted to be partnering with Spark Racing Technology to introduce our battery technology into their cars for next year’s FIA Formula E Championship. This is an exciting new racing series that will play a key role in highlighting the growing relevance of technologies originally developed for motorsport to the wider world. Energy efficiency is an important issue for Williams and whilst our work in this field is now spanning a number of market sectors beyond racing, motorsport will always be the ultimate proving ground for our technologies. Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly important part of the automotive industry and Formula E is the perfect opportunity for Williams to validate the latest developments in battery technology.”

Formula 1

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Saturday


30th May, 2013. Grove, UK.  The Williams F1 Team (Ticker: WGF1) and Mercedes-Benz are pleased to announce the signature of a long-term engine partnership from the 2014 Formula One World Championship season onwards.

Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will be supplied with a Mercedes-Benz Power Unit (Internal Combustion Engine plus Energy Recovery System) by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) based in Brixworth, UK. Williams will continue to manufacture its own transmission.

The 2014 regulations will set the sport’s engineers the challenge of completing a 300 km race distance on a fuel load of just 100 kg. To do so, teams will switch from naturally aspirated 2.4 litre V8 engines to 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged hybrid Power Units. To achieve power outputs comparable to current levels from the new Power Unit will require a 30% increase in energy efficiency.

This step forward will be largely achieved through an Energy Recovery System (ERS) that will be able to deploy ten times more energy than the current KERS. The new ERS will recover energy from both the exhaust turbine and the rear axle, as well as deploying energy back to both.

These new technical developments will offer significantly greater opportunities for technology transfer from Formula One to real-world applications in areas such as battery technology, turbocharging, energy recovery and combustion efficiency.

Speaking about the new engine partnership, Williams F1 Team Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said; “I’m delighted to announce our new association with Mercedes-Benz for the 2014 Formula One season and beyond. Mercedes-Benz has been one of the sport’s most successful engine suppliers and we believe that they will have an extremely competitive engine package. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Renault for their continued hard work since we renewed our engine partnership at the beginning of the 2012 season. We have enjoyed a strong relationship that has resulted in much success over the years, including powering us to winning ways once again last year at the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said “The announcement of this partnership is exciting news for Williams. Securing the right engine supply partnership is a key milestone in the implementation of our strategy for long term success. We are also pleased to conclude this agreement early in the season and we very much look forward to working with Mercedes AMG HPP in developing our 2014 race car.”

Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes AMG HPP, commented: “It is a very proud moment for everybody at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains to announce the start of this new partnership with the Williams F1 Team. Williams is one of the sport’s iconic names and we are very excited to be working together towards a successful future under the new regulations. A further positive is that this new agreement provides Mercedes-Benz with the long-term stability of supplying our works team and at least two partners from the 2015 season onwards, following the conclusion of our relationship with McLaren at the end of next season.”

Toto Wolff, Executive Director of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, concluded: “The proud heritage of Williams and the company’s commitment to technological excellence make it a perfect long-term partner for Mercedes-Benz under the new powertrain regulations. It is a win-win situation for both HPP and Williams, which will ensure HPP is able to supply at least three teams on a long-term basis under the new regulations and could open interesting new perspectives for technology transfer. We look forward to enjoying much success together over the coming years.”