2017 WILLIAMS MERCEDES
NEW REGULATIONS FOR 2017
Celebrating 40 years in the sport this year, the team’s 2017 challenger, the Williams Mercedes FW40, shows a very different look to 2016’s FW38.
The 2017 season will feature one of the biggest regulation overhauls since the introduction of hybrid power units back in 2014, with aerodynamics and tyres are at the forefront of the change. In theory, the regulation shake-up will help generate more downforce and grip, and should make the cars significantly faster and far more physically demanding for the drivers.
This season we see wider bodywork, wider front and rear wings, and fatter tyres. As a result of this, there is a significant increase in downforce and mechanical grip with the 2017 cars really able to attack the corners, significantly faster than they have done in recent years. That, in turn, means braking distances are reduced and G-loading increased.
Although cosmetically the 2017 cars will look very different to their 2016 predecessors, the core of the car, the power unit and the areas situated around the power unit, have not changed a great deal.
Laptimes are falling and lap records are expected to be broken. To set blistering laptimes, teams need some heavy duty rubber to stick to the track. Pirelli have certainly delivered that with the significantly wider front and rear tyres. The front tyres are 60mm wider, but the rear tyres have increased by a staggering 80mm. This also poses a new challenge for the pit crew with heavier tyres and modified wheel guns needed. Plenty of practice has seen the team start the season in strong form as it fights to keep its position as the fastest pit crew in Formula One.
The team has increased its effort in this area which means it can started the season already having a good understanding of the new rubber. In-season tyre testing will also be more crucial than ever before, as understanding the tyres and how they work will be one of the key factors in pulling performance from the car.
WILLIAMS MERCEDES FW40 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION