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.

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

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2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.