Williams unveil FW35, Barcelona Pre-season test 1: Teams roundup

Barcelona Day 1 Testing Times
2012 2013
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
01:23.265 01:22.616
2 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault
01:23.440 01:22.623
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
01:23.590 01:22.952
4 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
01:23.618 01:22.965
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 5. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
01:24.100 01:23.733
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 6. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari
01:24.150 01:23.884
7 Sergio Perez Sauber 7. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes
01:24.219 01:24.124
8 Bruno Senna Williams 8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
01:25.755 01:24.144
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari
01:26.809 01:25.124
10 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 10. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth
01:27.537 01:26.747
11 Charles Pic Marussia 11. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault
01:29.248 01:27.534

Williams FW35 launch

The last team to launch their 2013 car today unveiled the FW35. Noticeable was the apparent lack of sponsors on the car, but Williams have been here before and we’ll have to wait and see what is in the pipeline on this front.

There are 2 obvious features on the car that attract attention. here is a shot of the controversial exhaust guiding vane underneath the fish like ‘gills’ that features both on the Williams and the Caterham.

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Today the FIA warned both teams these are most likely against the regulations and both are seeking further clarification. Design regulations are not applicable in testing and the FIA’s regulatory role is reduced during these events to ensuring safety standards are maintained and adhered to.

Both designs could conceivably breach 5.8.4 of the 2013 Technical regulations and a technical directive issued in 2012 restricting the usage of flow capture ducts and elements downstream of the exhaust exit to guide the plume of high energy gasses.

Both article 5.8.4 and the technical directive were intended to prevent teams from building blown diffusers into their cars, but with no change to these regulations it is clear that both Caterham and Williams believe that they have found a loophole in the regulations.

Mike Coughlan this to say, “I know the fuss about the Caterham one, for me the Caterham one is clearly not allowed, but ours is OK, because if you look at ours it’s actually not a single piece its two pieces. The rule is an aperture size, and ours is an aperture size; ours is one aperture because it’s joined by a small piece in the middle.”

“You’re governed by total aperture size, but singular aperture, and ours is a single aperture joined by a very small slot. So it’s actually two pieces, if you look closely you’ll see.”

The second noticeable feature is the Williams FW35 nose and pylons that are incredibly similar to the Ferrari F138.

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I would be fairly certain this is a design Williams have produced post Jerez.

Gary Anderson comments, “The front wing pillars have been moved forward, so they lean back towards the front wing. That’s a good idea – it gives the airflow coming off the pillars more time to settle down before it gets to the turning vanes under the chassis.”

“The downforce-producing devices on the front brake ducts are very detailed and the sidepods are very well undercut. Their ultra-low gearbox means there is very little airflow blockage at the rear of the car. There is just a lot of very good basic engineering on it and I would expect that they have made significant progress.”

Mike Coughlan is very bullish about the work the team have done around their debut Coanda style exhaust system

“One thing we didn’t do last year was Coanda. We spent a lot of time doing Coanda studies and ensuring we understood the compromise between power and downforce.

“I think we’ve done a good job there, that’s obviously helped an awful lot by Renault and Renault’s understanding of engine mapping and engines so we’re very pleased. And that does give us a significant step forwards.”

This could have been a smart move from Williams as a number of teams really struggled in 2012 with the loss of power when adopting early the Coanda system. The ground work has now been done by others and Williams can bolt this on without much on track testing to understand the issues.

AtWilliams FW35, 2013 the end of the first day for the FW35 the teams technical director Coughlan was happy with their work.

“It was a very good day for us, with Pastor completing 86 laps, the second-highest of any team today. Pastor was very comfortable in the car which was shown by his early lap times. We had a small water leak this afternoon on a development part, but we were able to fix it quickly to complete our tyre programme. We feel confident in the core reliability of the FW35 and look forward to continuing with Valtteri tomorrow.”

Pastor Maldonado too seemed upbeat. “It was a good day today. I felt happy after the first run this morning and we then completed a busy day of testing. It was great to get out on track in the new car. The FW35 feels like we have made a real step forward. There is still a lot to discover with the new car, but this is a good starting point for us for the season.”


Nico Rosberg was the quickest on day 1 in Barcelona for Mercedes. To be honest the team don’t require a press officer as Nico sums up matters fairly comprehensively.

“The car feels decent out there. That’s a good start. It’s a much, much better base. You can feel its centre of gravity is lower. The aero is better. The platform is better.”

“It feels a lot stronger. It’s a pleasure to drive because it’s a lot faster than last year.” Mercedes had suffered reliability issues on the first 2 days in Jerez when Hamilton and Rosberg only completed 25 laps between them, and this is apparently still a concern for Nico.

“I didn’t get many laps in,” Rosberg said, “That’s a bit of a pity, for sure. We have to work on that. We have a few too many reliability issues at the moment. Other than that, it’s definitely going in the right direction.” Ferrari set the mileage benchmark of the day with 110 laps with Nico managing just 54.

Today it was gearbox issues for Mercedes and the worry must be that each of their technical testing failures have been on different areas of the car.

Alonso’s first drive of 2013

Following Fernando’s extended winter vacation (sorry extra training), today was the first day he has driven Ferrari’s 2013 offering, the F138. here’s what Alonso had to say.

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“I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year. The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day.”

“Then, at next week’s test we can concentrate on performance. Tomorrow, we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres. I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here today, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race in Australia, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce.”

“This is down to all the work done over the winter in the wind tunnel and the numerous tests which confirm that the parts that are on their way will give the expected results.”

Alonso put in 110 laps on day 1. Felipe managed 228 in 3 days in Jerez. Mmm, the Spaniard’s not daft huh?


They have a new rear wing, but the team were not happy with the set up of the car all day, and struggled to manage the performance of the tyres.

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The rest

Lotus has a quiet day with Kimi just putting in 44 laps but he was second quickest to Rosberg by 0.007s. Di Resta plugged away for 82 laps and drives again tomorrow before handing over to Adrian Sutil on Thursday.

Ricciardo look solid and Pic was again bottom of the time sheets for the second year in a row. He had some fuel flow issues and caused a red flag but completed 5 more laps than Kimi.

McLaren were quiet as Perez focused on long runs and Red Bull were being pretty secretive Vettel completed a number of 5-7 lap runs pulling in behind screens each time. We’re onto this one, more in a while.

Not a very exciting day I’m afraid, things will hot up by day’s 3 and 4 though.

10 responses to “Williams unveil FW35, Barcelona Pre-season test 1: Teams roundup

  1. Have the Williams had the (Ayrton) Senna “S” since 1994, or that’s a new thing? Never seen it on their cars before.

    • No Williams have carried it since 1995.
      I can’t remember if they carried it in 1994 after Senna’s death, but before that, it was a Senna product logo which only appeared on “top of the range” quality items such as Tag Heuer watches, Ducati and MV Augusta motorbikes etc
      Williams have normally carried it on the inside or outside of the nose pylons.

    • they have carried it since 1995, always somewhere or another on the car, usually on the front wing supports

  2. 1) Alonso has always been a clever chappy.
    It’s fascinating now, that merely a few weeks ago, everybody was speaking of what possible reason was there For FA not to be testing the car. Had he fallen out with Ferrari? Yet now everyone is saying how clever he has been.
    If he were new to Ferrari, and was learning the workings of the team, I’d imagine he’d be there as much as possible. But this will be his 4th season with the squad.
    Also, one of his heroes used to come back mere weeks before the season started. Senna would be on holiday for 3 months, come back and completely rework the car to his preferences.
    For Senna read Alonso, for Berger read Massa.

    2) That “incredibly similar” nose that Williams has to the Ferrari… has Coughlan been up to his spying tricks again

    • I think I wrote back in January when it was announced this was a strategic move – not just by Alonso but Ferrari too.

      Of course Fernando benefits for the obvious reasons. However, by the time Massa gets in the car it will have completed several hundred if not a few thousand more kilometres and he will be able to give some interesting feedback about the ‘big’ step change he experiences having not been through the smaller iterations of change.

    • “2) That “incredibly similar” nose that Williams has to the Ferrari… has Coughlan been up to his spying tricks again”

      Only if he’s been talking to TJ13 🙂 He looked very uncomfortable on the SKY interview tonight – particularly when asked about Mark Gillan.

      Hopefully TJ13 will be bringing you non-UK folk an illicit international broadcast of these kinds of UK based TV broadcasts on our youtube channel soon. But we need help of a competent video person – preferably in the UK with SKY access – not necessary though

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