Williams remove illegal exhaust from FW35

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After protests from many of their rival Formula One teams, Williams have decided to change the design of their exhaust system to meet FIA regulations.

Having unveiled their car at the second test in Barcelona, attention was drawn to the design of the exhaust on the FW35, with Caterham’s similar design also coming under close scrutiny.

The exhaust appeared to contain turning vanes within the coanda tunnel. These are outlawed by the FIA, who inspected the car at the first test in Barcelona nine days ago. Not wishing to bring their new car into disrepute, Williams have elected to revert to a vane-free exhaust.

Talking to Autosport, Williams’ chief engineer Xevi Pujolar confirmed the move.

“Yeah, we have made some modifications and now it is finished. We have changed it and that is it.”

It was a radical move by the team, especially given the reaction to Caterham’s exhaust design at the first test in Jerez. Over 80% of the car was redesigned for 2013, and it appears that the changes have been fruitful following Valtteri Bottas’ good showing in Barcelona today. The flying Finn spoke to his team following the session about his progress.

“It was a good day overall and we had no problems with the car.

“It’s a shame we were disrupted a bit by the wet weather, although this did allow us to run on the wet, intermediate and dry tires.”

Williams will be looking to bridge the gap to the front runners in 2013, building upon their 2012 success that saw Pastor Maldonado take their first win in seven years at the Spanish Grand Prix. By clearing their new exhaust with the FIA, they will not face any uncertainty heading to the Australian Grand Prix on March 17th.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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