First images of Williams FW36 released
Williams has released the first images of its 2014 car, FW36, via its website and Twitter.
Released in an interim all-blue livery, the most striking feature of FW36 is its narrow nose, which is necessary to meet FIA regulations while allowing for as much airflow as possible under the car. Most teams are expected to adopt similar solutions to meet the 2014 regulations, but Williams is the first to release an image of the unsightly design.
FW36 will be the first Williams powered by a Mercedes engine, with the all new V6 turbo and Energy Recovery Systems under the engine cover.
"This is the first time that Williams has worked with Mercedes in F1 and we've been very impressed," technical director Pat Symonds said. "Their professionalism and commitment have been notable and we're as confident as we can be that the power unit will be competitive.
"There's a lot more technology on the cars this year. 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.
"Overall the cars will need more cooling this year. 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.
"We finished the gearbox relatively early. 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."
However, Symonds said the onus was still on aerodynamics, with Williams hoping to bounce back from a disappointing season in 2013.
"F1 is still going to be an aerodynamic formula in 2014," he added. "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.
"I'm confident that we'll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year. Our ambition for the year ahead is to have a strong 2014 season."
He added that one of the biggest challenges with FW36 was making sure the extra bulk of the new engine did not tip the car over the minimum weight limit.
"The build of the new car has gone remarkably smoothly," Symonds said. "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 car will hit the track for the first time at the Jerez test on Tuesday with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel.