Williams are bringing new rear wings and exhaust blown diffusers to Barcelona this weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix as the Grove-based team continue to search for their first championship points of 2011.
Technical director Sam Michael points out that aerodynamic efficiency is particularly important at the Circuit de Catalunya as he explains the new parts coming to the FW33 this weekend.
“Barcelona is a circuit that demands good aero efficiency,” he explains. “It isn't a track that is hard on brakes and with its long high speed corners, the aero efficiency of the cars can be the biggest performance differentiator. The circuit layout hasn’t been favourable for overtaking in the past – however with the tyre degradation and the moveable rear wing it will likely be different this year.
“Since the Turkish Grand Prix, we have been working on our new rear wings that we ran in practice at Istanbul Park and we will have them on both cars again in Barcelona. In addition to that we'll have new exhaust blown diffusers to test.”
Rubens Barrichello is a fan of this track, which he has probably driven more laps of than any other driver in the sport. The Brazilian remains optimistic that Williams can find their feet soon and kick-start their season.
“Barcelona is a great racing track and one that people know the most,” comments Barrichello. “It will be interesting to see how much the other teams and drivers have developed since we were there for the final test in March. I hope that we as a team can make a good jump forward in performance with our upgrades in Barcelona. I remain positive that we will.”
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado shares Barrichello’s optimism, and points out that this track is the one that he is most familiar with so far in his fledgling F1 career.
“It is going to be a very interesting race as we've had more time to develop the car now so we will see what we can do in Barcelona,” said the Venezuelan. “We have more data as we tested there over the winter, so I think that will make it slightly easier than it's been at the previous races.
“I think it will be easier from my point of view as well because I've already driven the FW33 there. We will continue to work on the new upgrades to see what a difference they can make. I really like the circuit. I think it is one of the best as it is a very complete, technical track with a good mixture of high and low speed corners. Turn 3 is probably my favourite; it is very long and fast.”