Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
19 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
41 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
76 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
111 days
29 Aug
Race in
139 days
05 Sep
Race in
146 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
244 days

Williams aero concept opens door for 'yo-yo' F1 2021 season

Williams is bracing itself for an up-and-down season after electing for a peaky aero platform on its Formula 1 car that could leave it exposed when the wind picks up.

Williams aero concept opens door for 'yo-yo' F1 2021 season

The Grove-based outfit believes that going down such a route with its FW43B will pay off handsomely in the right conditions and allow its drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi to shine on the calmer days to pick up constructors' championship points.

Speaking about the decision, Russell says that Williams' hopes of moving up the standings will be best served by the occasional points haul on days when things go right, rather than having a more consistent platform.

"We've opted to go down a bit of a route to give more downforce at the expense of being a bit more sensitive," explained the Briton.

"Ultimately, we recognised that we only need a couple of [good outings], and if we were consistently at a set pace, as we probably were last year, we consistently won't be scoring points.

"You've only got to be quick at two races, for example, and you will finish potentially eighth or ninth in the constructors' championship. Haas scored three points last year and Alfa scored eight. We want to try to be as quick as possible when the stars almost align."

Read Also:

Russell said that the aero characteristics of the car, and in particular its wind sensitivity, were what hurt the team over the gusty Bahrain test weekend.

"We knew ahead of this season and confirmed in these days that our car was incredibly sensitive to the wind and the conditions of these past three days have probably brought out the worst of the car, which has been positive in ways to analyse," he added.

"But, equally, I think you'll see us, our performance, as a bit of a yo-yo this season. And unfortunately quite often in the hands of the wind."

George Russell, Williams FW43B ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

George Russell, Williams FW43B ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While the Bahrain test was a bit of a struggle at times, Russell says he takes heart from the performance of the car when occasionally the conditions were more settled.

"When the wind is in a favourable direction, the car is very fast," he said. "These days have brought out the worst of the car, but there has been positives because when there were corners that were normal, our car was actually very competitive.

"I trust that when we go to a track when everything's a bit calmer or a bit more enclosed, that's where we can excel. I think, maybe, Imola could be a good one for us."

While the aero concept choice means there will be a great deal of variation in Williams' form in 2021, Russell has faith the tactic will pay off over the course of the full campaign.

"This wind sensitivity, it's not the first time a team or car has had it," he said. "For us maybe it's a bit more extreme than it has been the last two seasons, but equally we could be sitting here at the end of the season, and saying, you know, we were very, very quick in 10 races, very, very slow in the remaining 13.

"But we managed to score points in those races that worked well, and we managed to come home eighth in the championship: therefore, that was a great decision to go down that route. So there's pros and cons to every philosophy. Time will tell."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 cars will be just as quick as last year, says Pirelli

Previous article

F1 cars will be just as quick as last year, says Pirelli

Next article

The trackside verdict on F1 2021 testing

The trackside verdict on F1 2021 testing
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers George Russell
Teams Williams
Author Jonathan Noble
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger Prime

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

Max Verstappen lost out to Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix by a tiny margin, slipping off the track just as victory was within his grasp. But the painful lesson from defeat can only help Verstappen come back even stronger

Formula 1
Mar 31, 2021