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Aggressive design for Williams FW33

Rubens Barrichello

By Andrew Hooper
November 23 2010

In a recent interview AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello spoke of the Williams teams 2011 design and how he was looking forward to the 'aggressive' design that team is taking. His comments expressed his view that the team is doing a good job with the 2011 design  and that he is optimistic about it.

 Aggressive design for Williams FW33

In a recent interview with AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello spoke of the Williams teams 2011 design and how he was looking forward to the 'aggressive' design that team is taking.

BarrichelloHis comments expressed his view that the team is doing a good job with the 2011 design  and that he is optimistic about it.

Rubens said: "I feel good. I feel that the team is doing a good job on what they're doing for next year."

"It's an aggressive style - the approach for next year's car seems to be quite aggressive, which is good. I'm up for it, I like it."

AS for whether or not he was confident that this car would see the Williams team move forward compared to it rivals Rubens added: "We can never say that, because if you talked to every team right now they would sell you a winning car for next year. It's a bit on the fantasy side right now. Some [new cars] are going better, some are going even better.

"But ours in the tunnel seems to be going okay. We just need to keep our feet on the ground and work with it."

As for how he saw the Williams teams performances in 2010 Rubens felt that after the race in Turkey the team moved forward.

Rubens said: "I think the turnaround was after Istanbul, where we sort of got to the bottom of the problem.

"There was a change in the characteristic of the downforce coming onto the car, so we had to change the wind tunnel for that, and it made it better. After that it was an improvement all the way through - bang, bang, bang.

"Even though it has been very down in terms of results the whole year long, the team conquered a lot and progressed. We overperformed in qualifying a little bit on new tyres, but we still had pretty decent races."


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Aggressive design for Williams FW33
Discussion started by Williams F1 , 23/11/2010 13:59
Williams F1
23/11/2010 13:59
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23/11/2010 21:51
I would like to understand what exactly happened withe wind-tunnel after Istanbul race ("Rubens said: so we had to change the wind tunnel for that")

24/11/2010 05:06
would be interesting to know just what williams mean when they say 'aggressive' design?

does that mean a row of sharks teeth painted on the body? i have absolutely no idea what an aggressive design is in the context of the '11 R&R. does anyone want to venture an opinion?

24/11/2010 08:43
Earlier in the year, Rubens criticised the team for not concentrating enough on the big areas that could have yielded better performance- he implied that they were playing safe by working a little bit in all areas.

So in Rubens-speak, I am guessing he has got them really exploring/pushing the envelope out on areas that he felt were being explored too conservatively previously.

The FW32 was hardly aggressive when you compare the packaging at the back with that of the RedBull, and it was sorely lacking in innovation, but he could be getting at a myriad of issues. He has made special reference to a new aero direction. The FW32 was designed around the old philosophy whatever that was, so one would imagine there would have been limitations in maximising the new direction on this car- something they can freely explore and push the envelope with on the FW33.

Who knows? As he also said- every team will sell you a championship winning car at this point of the season, so although the numbers may be looking good right now, that may mean little in terms of more success in Bahrian...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2010:11:24:08:47:38 by crusty_bread.

24/11/2010 10:04
to summarise then crusty, you have absolutely no idea what is meant by 'aggressive' in real terms either.

24/11/2010 10:04
Yeah, everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt at this time of year!

After all, the FW32 was supposed to be aggressive - and it really wasn't. I will admit that looking at it in Abu Dhabi compared to Bahrain it is visually much improved in certain areas, but compared to the Red Bull and Ferrari its conservative.

Rubens seemed to intimate mid-season that he had given the team direction on "distribution of downforce". I can only assume this means aero balance, and that he had identified we had it wrong. Maybe updates were developed in that direction where possible and I'll wager some major setup changes were done at Rubens' behest.

If this is now being chased aggressivley in a Wind Tunnel that is now correlating to the track, that is excellent news.

This time last year, I (rightly) doubted we could make an aggressive design work. But the fact that items like the f-duct and blown diffuser were on the car and working properly before our rivals, even given our hangover from the engine change, gives me cause for optimism.

As far as I am concerned, we got our package working at Silverstone. It took Renault, Mercedes and even McLaren a lot longer, and arguably it wasnt until Abu Dhabi that McLaren understood their package and got it working properly - I use Jenson as proof for this as I think we can say Lewis will drive through the balance issues caused in the main by their blown diffuser. Mercedes probably got their car going from Suzuka. I think in typical style, Renault got the best out of theirs pretty quickly. Good bunch of guys on the ground at Enstone. I have to say.

For the first time since 2003/4, I have confidence we can make an aggressive design work. I just we can do as Joe Saward noted and get a working car at the start of the season, rather than at the end!

mayhemlurker ;-)

24/11/2010 10:41
well MHF, now that the DDD and the Fduct are history, what do you think that they are talking about as being 'aggressive'?

i have absolutely no idea. progressive i understand....aggressive within the new R&R means diddly squat without any detail. to date it has to be a bit of 'wind' or should i say 'flannel'.

24/11/2010 11:02
Well, its clear that it is possible to design a car to create downforce at the cost of driver confidence, or base the concept around a partocular trick - McLaren based the 2010 car around the fduct and the long wheelbase was in part I beleive an attempt to improve airflow to a massive DDD. I read this in Autosport I beleive, before i let my subscription lapse.

With that in mind, its got to be possilbe then to design a safe, or aerodynamically "beneign" car. I think we have done this for several years. Newey is famous for not doing this.

There are also gains from pushing hard to minimise the amount of cooling, and the shrink-wrapping of bodywork around the packaging of components in less than ideal situations to improve the aero of the car. This is all Newey-esque and is what I consider to be meant by "Aggressive", even if others may not.

So if Rubens sees Williams going down this route with the FW33 following the direction he thinks is correct, and has proven to improve the FW32, then I can see reasons for optimism.

Remember, the FW32 began testing with HUGE sidepods, which became more svelte as the year went on and the team trusted the heat rejection propertiwes of the engine and transmission.

All of this can be optimised (to use Ronspeak) for 2011. I hope this is what is meant by "Aggressive". But as you say K1, it could be flannel.

mayhemlurker ;-)

24/11/2010 13:46
Found a little something on James allen F1

"Williams adopted the F Duct and the blown diffuser, but Rubens Barrichello said that the biggest improvements which made the team regular top ten qualifiers in the second half of the season came from improving driveability. He believes that this has been Williamsí weakness with new cars recently and expects that to be remedied in the 2011 car."

I obviously how you go about improving driveability on an F1 car, but if i was to take a guess at an area where they have gone for an aggressive design i'd place it on this, and whatever factors on an F1 car go into the driveability of the machine.

24/11/2010 14:16
@ K1, You really can be very abrasive at times.

You asked for an opinion to be ventured, and I obliged. You did not request a technical specification, and Im 100% certain there is no place where you would find this information, because a detailed approach disclosed at this stage would certainly be of assistance to rival teams. All we can do is pick upon hints and suggestions, process it, and venture an opinion- as was your brief.

@ Xerro, thankyou for linking that article- it was interesting. I would be surprised if you could make a car "aggressively" drivable, so whilst this may be an area the team could improve in for 2011, I would hope that Rubens is referencing other areas.

"aggressive" is a relative term. It's relative to the approach to the FW32, and it's relative to how hard the team have been focusing on the areas Rubens thinks the team should focus on.

24/11/2010 17:11
When I think of an aggressive approach I remember the BMW f108:


24/11/2010 18:29
I think it's amazing that current f1 cars without all of those finlets go almost, if not, just as fast.

24/11/2010 18:38
Ah yes, BMW's famous "aggressive-warthog" design.

I suppose skicks may have something to do with bridging the difference. If it hadn't been for DDD's, we should have seen a decent shift from aero to mechanical grip which (hopefully for next year) will lead to more overtaking.

Edit- I meant to put "slicks" of course. 2008 was the final season on grooved tyres, so a certain level of performance was given away back then.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2010:11:24:23:28:18 by crusty_bread.

24/11/2010 18:45
Looking at that pic i think it's safe to say in 2008 Formula 1 hit the pinnacle of ugly cars.

24/11/2010 21:30
well crusty, my comments were not abrasive as you stated. they were simply a distillation of the aforementioned question. 'pushing the envelope' is yesterdays euphemism when no specific area is nominated, like pushing what, where?

'aggressive design' means exactly what? design has a lot to do with 'form and function' but how do they quantify that as 'being aggressive'. to move to a rear end package similar to RB is not being aggressive just copying someone elses attack ['aggression'] on what was deemed to be the conventional.

the topic was formed as a lot of people are now seeing this 'aggressive design' concept as maybe the way out of the wilderness. fine, if some 'radical' design breakthroughs are in the pipeline but to state that they are going to produce an 'aggressively designed' car intrigues me and necessitates some reasoned debate.

as someone who has studied 'design' i expected you to relish the discussion and contribute meaningful insights into the concept.

Mr. Pink
24/11/2010 22:57
Guys, I think you are looking to much into this. He just said:
"It's an aggressive style - the approach for next year's car seems to be quite aggressive, which is good. I'm up for it, I like it."

I think he is just referring to the attitude towards development. I think he meant: "They learned a lot this season so they are looking at every area and questioning everything".
At least that's my view on this.
Sir Frank: "It's what we do, we love doing it. It's like oxygen, it fixes you".

24/11/2010 23:35
No-one is suggesting imitation, K1.

Of course Williams have always been looking to maximise performance, so I doubt there is anything revolutionary going on, but Rubens mentioned that Williams have taken a change in direction. This suggests that there have been a whole new set of possibilities opened up which the team are exploring much further than was possible this year and which may be yielding some decent results. I would imagine changing your windtunnel to explore this new avenue constitutes "aggressive" in most people's book- certainly in Williams'.

24/11/2010 23:47
Looking at that pic i think it's safe to say in 2008 Formula 1 hit the pinnacle of ugly cars.
I agree 1000%. The cars looked like Transformers that year. :p

25/11/2010 10:00
why would changing the 'wind tunnel' be labelled agressive. more like bringing it up to date as so many other teams have had to do.commonsense really.

very little in F1 is static apart from four wheels, a chassis and an engine. therefore if the team is going 'aggressive' then maybe they are going to do something different about the 'design' of the car although given the strict FIA guidelines i don't quite know what direction that could be.

i think that you have got the wrong end of the stick with the 'imitation' angle. what i was saying was that the RB rear design was radical in the face of the conventional. obviously if it works then all the teams will attempt to 'approriate' the idea. why not?

i hope that williams can actually do something different and produce a car that can give them some better results. it is about time that they got their act together as they can't afford another year in the middle of the pack.

25/11/2010 10:51
In the context Rubens' gave this info, I doubt very much that the windtunnel change was part of basic mantainance- ie a refurb, some shiny new chrome tubes, a few throw-cushions. It sounds far more focused that that- like they have a direction and they are investing in this direction by changing the windtunnel to explore it's possibilities. For a team on a tight budget, this is hardly a cautious approach.

As you say "pushing the envelope" is an empty euphamism, but best illustrated in the way RedBull found a way to package the rear end of the RB6 in a way far much more compact that anyone else. Williams have seemed to err on the side of caution in most areas with the FW32- cooling for the new cosworth engine being an obvious area- and was something the team could not modify due to chassis restrictions. If Rubens has identified areas which are deficient- areas where designers have made suggestions in the past that were put on low priority, then you have yourself a more aggressive approach.

25/11/2010 13:51
Does anybody know anything about the Cosworth engine next year?any changes?

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