Wednesday, January 23, 2008


With the efficient FW29 from last season as their blueprint, the Williams Formula One team has been able to design and produce a much improved car, a product of innovation and stability, said Team technical director Sam Michael, who was in Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Racetrack to witness test driver Nico Hulkenberg taking the FW30 for a spin in its track debut.

“With four years of regulation stability, we have a good basis to be progressive about the development of this season’s car,” explained Michael. “With a good reliability record last year, we have been able to build on this quality while also turning some of our attention to clear performance objectives.”

Much of the stability comes from sticking to settled regulations governing aerodynamics; retaining their highly skilled technical team and maintaining close contact with engine supplier Toyota. This is why the FW30 retains much of the same flavour as the Williams’ products before it, the zero keel and dual pillar rear wing a permanent fixture in the new model.

Having said that, there are still significant changes in the make of the FW30. There are the three-plane front wing, larger side-pod top cooling louvres, the side-pod and side-impact sails, and increased cockpit sides to ensure better driver safety.

“Our focus has been on performance as well as refining our packaging and weight distribution,” added Michael. “We are designing a tidier car with a higher standard of build quality. The FW30 should represent a good step forward when all of the many small areas of attention and improvement are brought together in the overall package.”

Team Williams have also spent a lot of its resources readying the car for the new standard ECU and tweaking it to satisfy the condition of traction control prohibition. A new seamless-shift gearbox is another important feature in the FW30, as well as bio fuel compliance, a product of research with fuel partner Petrobras.

All said and done, it is now time to see if the FW30 really produces the performance it is capable of.

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