Williams have been experimenting with some interesting designs during testing at Silverstone. Valtteri Bottas was in the car, giving the engineers some data on a rear wing that will comply with the regulations in 2017.
The double rear-wing has provided extra downforce to give better cornering grip according to the Finn, who added,
“In the afternoon there was some interesting aero stuff to simulate some different conditions with the car, different kinds of downforce levels, different corners etcetera, so it was all cool.
It [double rear wing] adds downforce, and the main thing is trying to fine tune the balance a bit better, and how much we gain with x amount of downforce, especially in cornering conditions.
That is the weakness we have at the moment – cornering grip. So we are trying to see what it does, if we can make the downforce in the corner a bit better.”
– Valtteri Bottas
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) July 13, 2016
The Finn also tested three versions of the 2016 front-wing as Williams chase extra downforce. This has been their Achilles heel for the past few seasons. They rely too much on power, meaning that tracks like Montreal and Silverstone are theoretically stronger circuits. Their lack of downforce means that they have to approach slow corners with caution, having to ‘work’ the car more in these corners also has a bad effect on tyre degradation. So it’s important that the Williams team addresses these issues for 2017.
The double rear-wing is striking, and it’s great that even this early on, we’re seeing teams take on unconventional solutions.