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 .
As expected Williams joined the group of teams to copy Red Bull floor exhaust outlet concept . The extended exhaust pipes are now driven towards the diffuser and housed inside the floor to maximize the effect of the hot emissions on the diffuser . The revised rear exhaust-floor package was fitted only in Barichello car during Chinese free runs . The system did not pay off the expectations of the team because it caused floor burning and as a result of it degradation of car’s aero performance .
The new exhaust outlets were gone under revisions to overcome the floor overheating issues and put under new test in Catalunya with the debut of the new package in race conditions taking place two races after in rainy Canada. Nevertheless for the next race in hot Valencia the cars were reverted back to the old package .
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 .