© Williams

Williams unveils new FW38 Formula 1 car for 2016

1 Comment

Williams has become the first team to fully launch its Formula 1 car for the 2016 season by releasing the first images of its FW38 model.

The livery of the new car is very similar to that of its predecessor, mixing a simple white design with the iconic Martini stripes running from the rear wing to the nosecone.

Williams has finished third in the constructors’ championship for the past two years, and is looking to build on this success with the new car.

“Williams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the championship in the past two seasons,” team owner Sir Frank Williams said.

“This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us. Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough. ”

Drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas have been retained for the new season, and although Williams has complete faith in the duo, he is waiting to reserve judgement on the new car until the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona next week.

“We have a very stable team going into 2016, with Felipe and Valtteri teaming up for a third successive season. They work well together and both have the ideal blend of speed and consistency,” Williams said.

“Our technical team has also remained very consistent which will be to our advantage and we have some of the best engineering minds on the grid at our disposal.

“We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package and to refine the car ahead of the first race. We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds explained how the relatively stable technical regulations for the new season prompted the team to concentrate on retaining the best qualities of the 2015 car, the FW37, while also developing the required areas such as low speed performance.

“The FW37 was a pretty effective car and so we concentrated on understanding the areas where we could improve it without losing the attributes which made it effective,” Symonds said.

“It is no secret that the low speed performance of the FW37 didn’t match its high speed performance so a lot of time was spent looking into why this was and subsequently making changes, which we hope will improve the situation.

“On top of this we looked at the normal physical obstacles to development that one always meets during the life of a car and tried to push those barriers back.

“We have very few changes to the technical regulations. As always we are trying to improve safety and so the cockpit sides adjacent to the driver’s head are not only higher but they are also significantly stronger.

“Something the spectators may notice more is that the engines will sound a bit sharper. Over the winter we can expect more power from improved combustion and this will in itself produce a bit more noise but perhaps more significantly the turbo wastegate is no longer plumbed into the main exhaust.

“This should not only produce an engine note that is around 12% louder than before but may also from time to time trigger some of the dramatic sounds we all associate with high performance turbo charged engines.”

The Williams FW38 will hit the track for the first time in Barcelona on Monday at the start of pre-season testing.

Eli Tomac’s near-perfect season ended perfectly

ProMotocross.com
Leave a comment

From the start, Eli Tomac wanted to go into the season-ending race at Ironman Raceway with the 2020 red plate already in his possession. That final race has been know to devolve into muddy conditions and it is best not to leave things to chance.

For a rider with an almost perfect record of overall podium finishes, one would not have thought there would be much drama at the end of Round 11 at Budds Creek, but it took until the last lap of the final moto for Tomac to achieve his goal.

One reason was that Tomac’s near-perfect season was not so perfect. From the very beginning at Hangtown, Tomac struggled with poor starts to his events. Getting a bad jump out of the gate and finishing fourth in Moto 1 that weekend was not the auspicious beginning he wanted in search of his third consecutive 450 outdoor championship.

The hallmark of Tomac’s season has been overcoming bad starts. He rode through the field at Hangtown and nearly stood on the podium. Then he won Moto 2 and finished second overall. It was his first of nine consecutive overall podiums. Tomac came back the following week for a perfect sweep at Pala.

In Round 3, Tomac once again got off to a bad start. He finished fifth in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley – and then won Moto 2 in a duplication of his opening round.

In Round 5, Tomac had his worst performance until that time. He finished seventh in Moto 1. Nearly halfway through the season, a pattern was firmly established with his Moto 2 win.

Vanessa O’Brien, Kawasaki USA

One should recall that the hallmark of Tomac’s season was strong finishes. Four the next four weeks Tomac failed to podium only one time in a moto. On that occasion, he would stumble in Moto 2 at Spring Creek in Round 8 before scoring his second perfect race at Washougal.

And that is where it got interesting. Tomac left Washougal with a 50-point advantage over Marvin Musquin. It was just the scenario Tomac had seesawed his way through the season to achieve. But it was too good to be true.

In most of his previous bad performances, there was an extenuating circumstance for Tomac’s bad start: a fall or an off course excursion. This time, he simply rode an uninspired race and finished seventh again to match his worst single moto performance. He could not fully rebound in Moto 2 and finished third.

For the first time in 2019, Tomac failed to stand on the overall podium in fourth. Worse still, he lost 10 points to Musquin and no longer had his one-race cushion.

But this is a season of recovery for Tomac. At Budds Creek last week it was reported that Tomac’s lackluster performance in Washington was due to his overdoing his chores on his Colorado ranch. Rested and restored, Tomac scored his third perfect race with Moto 1 & 2 wins. And this time, he looked sharper than he had in any previous race.

Tomac did all the could do by winning both motos, but in the closing laps at Budds Creek he needed a little help to clinch the title. As it turned out, Tomac needed the perfect performance to clinch his third consecutive championship.

In Moto 1, he narrowly edged Ken Roczen and Musquin, to give the three championship contenders a sweep of the top three spots; that was not enough to regain his cushion.

Roczen was close enough to force Tomac into The Ironman needing to score points to permanently affix the red plate on his Kawasaki in 2020, but just as Tomac’s season has been marked by second half improvements, Roczen’s has been marred by a lack of performance in the second motos.

Musquin passed Roczen late in Moto 2 last week and could have extended the drama one more week if he could have caught second-place Jason Anderson. Musquin could not erase an 11-second deficit to the runner-up and now Tomac’s almost perfect season has a distinctly perfect feel to it.

Vanessa O’Brien, Kawasaki USA

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter