29 May 2013
Williams fear tyre change effect on recovery
The introduction of new tyres for next month's Canadian Grand Prix could have a detrimental effect on Williams' efforts to improve its FW35, claims its chief engineer.
The Williams F1 team's search for its first points of the 2013 season could be hit by the likely introduction of new specification tyres for next month's Canadian Grand Prix.
That is the view of chief engineer Xevi Pujolar, who is already battling to make sense of the successor to last year's race winning car. Williams is just one of three teams without a point to its name in 2013, putting it alongside recognised backmarkers Marussia and Caterham in the standings but, while Pujolar insists that the Grove squad is making slow progress with the FW35, he admits that Pirelli's decision to take revised tyres to Montreal could hamper its development.
"For us, [we'd prefer to] either stay the same or probably go back to what we had [in 2012]," the Spaniard explained to Sky Sports, "If they change to something completely different, then it's another unknown. We're still learning about the car and, if you add something new, there's the discussion about the wind tunnel tyres and all that, then it's changing again. We don't really have a preference, but either we stay the same or go back to what we had."
Pujolar conceded that, regardless of whether he has to cope with a change of rubber, there will be no quick fix for Williams' current problems.
"I think it will be more step-by-step,” he reasoned, “Hopefully, there will be times when the steps are bigger, [but] we won't suddenly go from where we are to the top four. I think we're making progress and it's getting better and better but, until we get the car in Q3 and have the car in the points, we cannot say we've done it."
While he accepts that getting to grips with new ideas such as harnessing the Coanda exhaust effect, Pujolar also admits that the FW35's problems are more wide-ranging.
"For sure, other teams are at an advantage in terms of understanding the exhausts and the Coanda effect, but I don't think that's our only limitation,” he conceded, "However, we think, especially with the testing we've done here [in Monaco], that the car is changing the most from everything we've done so far. We need to see if we can consolidate that.”
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