Williams FW33-Separated flap front wing concept
Williams since Melbourne divided the upper flap into two separated sections , an outer section close to the endplates and a second larger inner one . The outer section is supported onto the middle flap via a flap separator close to the neighboring inner section and is adjustable as an independent element .
This clever approach gives freedom to mechanics to adjust differently the attack angle of the two sections , depending on each track special downforce needs . Of course it is more beneficial to raise the angle of the outer section to gain downforce as the disrupted air will head onto the tyre profile behind the flap . On the contrary raising excessively the angle of the inner section maximizes the turbulence caused to the airflow interacting with the flap which then heads towards the under surface of the floor and around the sidepod bottoms , something totally unwanted .
Rookie Maldonado usually prefers to race with a wing having an inner section of a bit higher attack angle for more front grip compared to Barrichello . Noticeably till the Spanish race the angle difference between the two sections was rather small or even close to zero but in Catalunya both drivers raced with a distinctive raised inner section for the first time . This allowed the team to reduce the length of the tab along the trailing edge of the second flap in favor of cleaner air behind the flap .