The start of this year’s Formula 1 season will be upon us before we realize it, and teams are just now pulling the sheet off of the cars they have lined up for 2015. Williams was the first to do so, showing off the Williams Mercedes FW37 race car.
Last year, Williams ended the season in third place of the championship, considering that they were in 9th the previous year. With such a massive improvement, Williams wasn’t in a hurry to fix what ain’t broke.
“We then went about recognising what had worked well and identifying and resolving the areas that we felt needed to be improved. Although the aerodynamics of the car were impressive there is always room for improvement particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations,” said Williams martini racing Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds.
Those new nose regulations, by the way, address an issue that came up last year, when the FIA drafted new rules meant to lower the front of the car. They stated that a certain percent of surface area had to be at a specific height, so instead of lowering the main structure of the front wing, engineers kept it at the height they wanted, but just added a dipped…er, “finger” to the front end to satisfy the letter of the rules. The revised regulations became more specific this year to effectively rid of the unpopular front protuberances.
Williams will continue to use a Mercedes-sourced 1.6-liter turbo six-cylinder engine that produces roughly 600-horsepower and is married to an energy recover system. This hybrid system allows recovered heat and kinetic energy to be stored in batteries, unleashing 160 hp with a push of a button when a quick boost is needed.
We’ll steadily see other teams reveal their cars as we approach the season opener on March 15th, kicking off with the Australian Gran Prix. As a team on a rapid crawl up the grid, Williams will certainly be the plucky underdog to watch fight for top spot.