Williams radical high downforce wing

One can say history does sometimes repeat itself! Pat Symonds was crucial in the design of the 80’s Toleman of which Senna drove a spectacular race back in 1984. The Toleman had exploited a loophole in the regs allowing a double deck rear wing to sit with the main wing.

Screen shot 2016-05-17 at 09.29.02

Today Williams rolled out a new rear wing that looks remarkably similar in concept, perhaps a loophole in the regs again? Unlikely but it’s nice to think that some creative minds are still at work in F1.

Screen shot 2016-05-17 at 09.27.40

Screen shot 2016-05-17 at 09.27.30

images from grandprixtimes.com

Alex Lynn took to the track with the pieces fitted and is likely that Williams are trying to generate the extra downforce 2017 regs will allow in order to understand the tyres and chassis.

Screen shot 2016-05-17 at 09.41.19

6 responses to “Williams radical high downforce wing

  1. This is what should be happening every week in our sport, new designs and ideas being brought in without risk from a regulation designed to halt progress

    • I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that the regulations are designed to halt progress.

      I’m sure that designers would love more freedom, and whilst that would deliver more radical and varied designs, we would also see a far larger performance disparities and so get boring racing.

      There has to be a balance between design restriction for budget control and parity on one hand, and encouraging innovation on the other hand. I’m not sure they have that balance right now, but I’m sure that’s the intention.

      The new PU rules are a good example of how badly wrong you can get it the balance. MB clearly have the best PU. And the rules largely forbid the others from catching up any time soon. Boring racing ensues.

      At least with upper surface aero everyone gets to see what you’re trying. Floors, engine modes and PU designs are hidden and so catch-up on good ideas is slow.

      The history of F1 is littered with episodes of banning compliant innovations that give an unfair advantage. This won’t change.

      Motor racing can be pure (unregulated) and boring or it can be contrived (regulated) and interesting. Take your pick or try to strike a balance.

      • Some good points there Roger, the only reason Merc became a full team was the promise of a new power unit,the same goes for Honda as this made more sense for a road system. The problem I have is that the restriction in development was aimed at cost reduction. Merc did a smart thing and fully explored the system well before the regs even appeared,love him or hate him but Max Mos hinted at this during his final few months as president and he foretold of the problems we are facing today as teams are fighting with one hand tied behind their back in a effort to catch the Mercs. I do believe that a simple set of rules would strike a balance, basically if the car fits in a imaginary box you are free to play…this lets a hybrid race against a gas turbine and 8wheels tip the balance against 3..this I do think would allow a small focused team to compete against the higher budget monsters,Williams/sauber and even Manor could tip the balance with one clever design and force teams to become smart rather than just throw money at a problem.

        • I get your point, but I’m not so sure about the imaginary box idea. I’d love it if I was wrong, but I think that the days of brilliant individuals getting one up on the extreme brute force design systems of the major teams are well and truly past us.

          Contrarian, differentiated, non-consensus design isn’t enough by itself – it must be better.

          Endless design variations will also confuse the mass of average fans (who pay for the sport, ultimately). I’d suggest Joe Public will only cough up for a familiar-ish, professional-looking racing series (with close racing, of course), not a freak show / science experiment / Wacky Races episode.

        • “love him or hate him (max mos)?”, I don’t see how anybody can love an ex onehalfthecancer of F1, this was the man that stole F1 from the teams and handed it to his buddy in arms, this was the man that wanted what he called a world engine the designs of which should belongs to the FIA.
          And as regards to aero innovations or not, formula one needs less aero and nit more of it.

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