Formula 1 | F1 Tech: The evolution of the Williams FW44 in 2022

F1 teams have debuted new single-seaters this year, based on completely revised regulations. Despite the budget ceiling, which limits the expenses of each structure, the teams have worked hard on their car, in order to bring more or less significant changes.

Today we discuss the changes made to the Williams FW44 between the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix, the first and 13th rounds respectively of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

The main evolution of the single seater

At the start of the season, Williams surprised by presenting a rather simplistic single-seater, with sidepods reduced to their simplest expression. A close choice to Mercedes F1 that suggested the Grove team may have made the right decision.

Unfortunately, the FW44 proved to be inefficient and difficult to get into a good operating window. Not having the same porpoise problem as the W13, the FW44 had too much drag and both Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi struggled in the peloton.

Albon, however, took advantage of the events of the races to score three points in Australia and Melbourne, but the team quickly realized that they could not take advantage of this version of their single-seater, so they worked on a major development on the pontoons.

At Silverstone, Albon thus received a very visible upgrade (bottom photo in article illustration). Thus, the very short sides have given way to wider and longer shapes, based on the wash, in order to redirect the flow of air towards the rear suspensions.

Like the rest of the equipment, the air intakes are moved forward in front of the cabin, and the lower part also allows the air to better accompany the rear of the single-seater. The

Less significant changes

Unfortunately, Williams was unable to bring many other new features, in particular due to lack of budget. New features should be coming soon though, as the revised pontoons were the basis for future changes.

In fact, technical director Fran├žois-Xavier Demaison had explained that it was impossible for the team to actually make the FW44 work with the initial version: “It opens a lot more doors, whereas the concept before meant we were stuck.”

In addition to the very remarkable evolution package, we were able to see different versions of fins, adapted to the circuits and the amount of aerodynamic support required according to the Grand Prix.

Finally, the team has worked mainly to save weight, but without providing specific parts for this problem. On the other hand, we could see the FW44 drastically losing its colors, many of the blue parts (see photo below in Bahrain) are now bare carbon.

What are the results of these developments?

In terms of raw results, Williams F1 has unfortunately made little progress up the pecking order since the arrival of the advanced FW44. The differences in classification between the best Williams and the best time remain on average around two seconds.

These new features are mainly intended to provide a healthier foundation for Williams to show progress later this season, and in 2023, as the FW45 will come from the most efficient solutions.


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