“Every race, we'll have something,” he pointed out, “We took 35 floor upgrades to 20 races last year. Your aim is always to make sure you are system checking at the factory, so that you are able to take developments straight to the circuit. When you've got a new car, you're always thinking the last couple of days in Barcelona should be run in Melbourne-spec, so you'll see us in Melbourne with a step forward - as you will at every other race. Obviously Malaysia is a tiny bit difficult, but we'll take an upgrade to every circuit. We did last year and we were able to stay with most of the teams around us in terms of pure performance.”
Among the new features on the FW35 is Williams' take on Coanda exhaust thinking which became a part of the F1 lexicon last season. He admits that the team would have liked to have introduced its own system in 2012, but had reservations.
“All we were cautious of - and maybe too
cautious - was the loss of power,” he explained, “You have to remember that last year a lot of people spent a lot of time doing that work - we didn't and perhaps should have done. I think we could have raced Coanda - we tested it in Brazil, and maybe we could have brought that a little earlier. Lotus were the same, very wary of the loss of power.
“[Since then], we spent a lot of time doing studies and ensuring that we understood the compromise between power and downforce. I think we've done a good job there, and that's obviously helped an awful lot by Renault and Renault's understanding of engine mapping and engines. That does give us a significant step forward, [so] we're very pleased.”
Ironically, it is the exhaust that has caused the first controversy of Williams' season, with the FIA ruling that the exit channel is in contravention of the regulations [ see separate story