Williams is hopeful that its new FW38 has addressed the low-speed corner weaknesses of its predecessor.

By: Jonathan Noble, Formula 1 Editor

Williams is hopeful that its new FW38 has addressed the low-speed corner weaknesses of its predecessor.

Although the Grove-based outfit was competitive on fast corners throughout 2015, it struggled for pace at slower venues and in the wet.

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says the team has worked on this characteristic for its new challenger, which should ensure it is more consistently competitive.

"The FW37 was a pretty effective car and so we concentrated on understanding the areas where we could improve it without losing the attributes which made it effective," he said.

"It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn't match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation.

"On top of this we looked at the normal physical obstacles to development that one always meets during the life of a car and tried to push those barriers back."

Visible changes

The new car has a striking resemblance to last year's FW37 but there are subtle differences.

The inlet of the sidepods are bigger, and more rounded than the triangular concept the team had in 2015. 

The nose is also shaped differently, and the packaging around the rear appears to be more aggressive but cannot be seen clearly in the images released.

Accepting mistakes

Symonds said that the team had worked hard in accepting where it had gone wrong in previous seasons, which has manifested itself in car changes and operational tweaks.

"At Williams we are honest about our mistakes and try to learn from them," he said. "Just as in the design of the car we always analyse strengths and weaknesses, so we do with the team.

"This has led to several operational changes for 2016 which, although not particularly visible from the outside, should see the team better able to cope with the many variant scenarios that racing will inevitably throw at them.

"One strength we take into 2016 is stability. It is easy to underestimate the power of this but with the same driver pairings and continuity in the engineering team we hope to be up to speed quickly – something particularly important with only 8 days of pre-season testing."

Louder car

Symonds also thinks that one thing fans will notice is that the cars will be louder in 2016 thanks to the new exhaust rules.

"The engines will sound a bit sharper," he said. "Over the winter we can expect more power from improved combustion and this will in itself produce a bit more noise, but perhaps more significantly the turbo wastegate is no longer plumbed into the main exhaust.

"This should not only produce an engine note that is around 12 percent louder than before but may also from time to time trigger some of the dramatic sounds we all associate with high performance turbo charged engines."

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