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Williams FW33 – New lower downforce front wing


  

       A new lower downforce front wing spec was put under test in Canada but both drivers were forced to abandon it in wet slippery race conditions choosing the higher downforce  former spec which ensured better grip . The new spec was again tested in Valencia but  yet not used in race .

       The new spec is totally new speaking for both the endplates and flaps .  It is still triple profiled with the main flap to be raised higher close to the endplates and to be half length slotted (1) compared to the fully slotted former design .Another change took place to the extension of the endplate horizontal section under the flaps . The new one is shorter and features an additional L-shaped element (2) . The endplate is simpler and lacks both the extra low height outer vertical  fence (3) and the triangular horizontal fin at the rear top of the endplate (4) . Finally the flaps are reshaped having  less curvy inner tips (5) and a shorter flap separator (6) .

          All  changes aim to accelerate air flowing under the flaps close to the endplates to boost downforce production close to endplates (thus the inner section of the third flap remains higher than the inner section like the old spec => https://formula1techandart.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/williams-fw33-separated-flap-front-wing-concept/ ) so as to counterside the less downforce produced by the new flaps which by their side offer a cleaner airflow towards the car body behind .

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Williams FW33-Separated flap front wing concept


 old spec

 

        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 .

   new spec 

       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 . 

 

 


Williams FW33 – Front wing evolution from launch to Turkey


Launch

 

   As all teams are accustomed to so Williams revised its front wing before season kick start in Australia with the new version to have new endplates , which offered drag reduction . Barrichello even tested a new front wing spec ( the third version since launch) , an option not chosen for Melbourne  race though. This was about to change in Malaysia where both Williams drivers raced the new wing which offered even less drag created by the tyres profile at very long twin straights of Sepang circuit .

      Williams seem to sunk deeper and deeper in crisis of performance lack , with Sam Michael stepping down from Technical director at the end of season . For that reason and to reverse negative climate major upgrades are expected soon from the team  including a new diffuser along with a new exhaust blown diffuser configuration that will improve laptime by a significant amount

 

Barcelona , last pre-season test and Melbourne

Williams front wing endplates are mainly consisted of three parts . The first one (in yellow) was revised  in Melbourne to provide a larger volume for the air flowing inside the endplate surface , reducing drag. Furthermore the additional triangular horizontal fin at the rear top of the endplate improves further airflow management close to the wheels profile .

  3rd  Version tested by Barrichello at season debut at Melbourne and being used since Sepang

The wing has an additional outer mini fence bending outwards  ( yellow arrow) and a deep cut at the bottom of the first endplate element  (marked in red arrow) to encourage further drag reduction .

 

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