Sidepod shape will be “most obvious change” on Williams’ F1 2023 car

The sidepod shape on Williams’ 2023 F1 car will be “the most obvious visible difference” compared to the team’s predecessor. 
Sidepod shape will be “most obvious change” on Williams’ F1 2023 car

Williams revamped their FW44 from last year’s British Grand Prix with the introduction of a package that moved closer to Red Bull’s design. 

With the regulations remaining relatively stable heading into 2023, the sidepod shape has been a key area of focus for Williams as they look to get the most out of their ‘evolutionary’ FW45.

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Williams revealed their 2023 livery on Monday ahead of the FW45 making its first physical appearance at a Silverstone shakedown next week. 

“It’s going well, the car build is in progress,” Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson told media including at the team’s season launch.

“Quite large chunks of the car’s systems have been tested independently and now the whole car is currently coming together, getting ready to run it very soon. So the car build is going well. 

“In terms of differences compared to the FW44, the whole car is an evolution in terms of its physical appearance. There’s obviously a few changes from the regs, otherwise you’ll see it soon. 

“Probably the most obvious change compared to last year is around the sidepod shape, which is something we started the process of part-way through last year with the Silverstone package. 

“But we couldn’t do the changes we really wanted to because of where the coolers where. We’ve had an opportunity to re-work that and that’s probably the most obvious visible difference.” 

Williams are looking to lift themselves off the bottom of the F1 constructors’ championship after slipping below Haas in 2022.

They have signed American Logan Sargeant to partner Alex Albon, who is heading into his second season with the team. 

Robson said the early indications from the wind tunnel and simulator point towards a step forward with the FW45. 

“It’s difficult to know how much we’ve been able to claw back,” he explained. “It really depends how that stands up compared to everyone else. 

“The floor regulation changes did set us back, as they set everyone back. I think we are quite pleased with how we reacted to that, but overall, the car is a step forward. 

“We’ve seen in the simulator that we’ve started to work quite well on some of the issues that were fairly standout to the drivers last year. So we’re hopeful that will A, materialise on track and B, turn into lap time. So that’s all very promising. 

“There’s been a big effort by everyone, a huge amount of effort throughout the company. Everything has gone pretty well in the wind tunnel and now in the factory the team are just finishing off getting the car ready. 

“We’ll find out in a few weeks’ time how much it’s all paid off.”

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