Williams-Toyota

Formula 1 Team reports for the 2009 F1 season includes race previews, reports and reviews
mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Williams-Toyota

Postby mlittle » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:05 am

Australian GP
Williams Race Report


~~~The AT&T Williams team didn't manage to fulfil its potential in a typically incident-packed opening race in Melbourne today, and had to content itself with a handful of points and a fastest race lap to take to next weekend's Malaysian GP. With the cars running in the top five and both drivers showing some committed overtaking manoeuvres, the team's march was interrupted by a problem in Nico's first pitstop on lap 16. Shortly afterwards, Kazuki had a high-speed spin, hitting the wall and retiring. From here Nico fought to recover lost ground, in the process setting the fastest lap of the race and collected two points for a seventh place finish.

Nico Rosberg:
It was a challenging race and we suffered with a few glitches here and there, firstly from my side when on lap one I left the door open at turn three and I lost some positions, and then we had a problem on my first pit stop. The restart after the first safety car on cold tyres was very difficult, I had no grip at all and again in the last part of the race, I had taken everything out of my tyres and they were dropping out, so it was impossible to keep anyone behind me. All said, I think two points is a good outcome because I believe we are faster than a couple of the cars who finished ahead of us today, so from a championship perspective, it's looks okay. It was an exciting race today thanks to the new rules.

Kazuki Nakajima:
I had a quite a big accident on lap 17 when I ran wide at turn four and I hit the kerb, which unsettled the car and then I lost the rear. It was quite a fast impact, but I had a precautionary check in the medical centre, everything is fine and physically I am okay, but of course the outcome - my retirement - hurts! The race was really enjoyable, we had a good pace, good fuel and good tyres, so I have to keep all the positives in mind and take these forward to Malaysia next weekend.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
We showed encouraging pace in today's race and when the car was in clear traffic, we were as quick as anyone and Nico recorded the fastest lap of the race and did a good job. But we made too many mistakes as a team today and we will be looking to make a better job of what the car offers at the next race in Malaysia. Congratulations to Ross Brawn, Jenson and their team for an impressive result, we will try our best not to let them make a habit of it!
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:25 am

Australian GP Debrief
Williams-Toyota


Synopsis

The AT&T Williams team had a positive start to the 2009 season, demonstrating both pace and reliability from the start of the first practice session, but the anticipated nature of the race at Albert Park, which features frequent safety car intervals, meant that the race was unlikely to follow a strict form guide. In the event, Kazuki Nakajima succumbed to an accident on lap 17, while Nico Rosberg, despite recording the fastest lap of the day, had an extremely eventful race, crossing the line in P7. He was later promoted to P6 after the Stewards imposed a 25s penalty on Jarno Trulli . Toyota were not alone in being penalised after the race, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel incurring a fine and collecting a ten place grid penalty which he will serve at next weekend's Malaysian GP.

Sam Michael, Technical Director Q&A

Practice

Q What caused Kazuki's puncture in P1, and did it cause any other damage to the car?

A valve cap came off, and yes, it did damage a brake duct, but that was repaired immediately after the session

Q How much did the track improve during the course of Friday?

The track came to the drivers a lot during P1, but during the cooling temperatures in P2, conditions were actually a bit slower

Q How surprised were you to be quickest in all three practice sessions?

Very! That said, we didn't make the assumption that this performance would necessarily convert into qualifying

Qualifying

Q What changes did you make to each of the cars between Q1 and Q2?

Not an awful lot, just a degree of tuning of front wing angle and of course managing the tyre pressures

Q How much time did Kazuki lose at the final corner on his last lap of Q2? It cost him 0.3secs

Race

Q Were you tempted to start the race with the super soft rubber on either car?

No. Albeit safety cars are a common factor in Melbourne, it is not something you can rely on and without a safety car, it would have been a disaster strategy

Q What caused Kazuki's accident on lap 17?

He hit the kerb too hard and lost rear end, from which point the situation was unrecoverable

Q Will Kazuki's car be fit for Malaysia given the back-to-back races

Yes, we have some work to do, but the damage is all manageable with our usual stock of consumable parts

Q How did you alter Nico's strategy as a result of the first Safety Car period?

We didn't make any changes to Nico's run plan as he had already made his first pitstop, which meant there was no scope to make changes

Q Why did Nico lose time at his first pitstop?

His front left wheel nut locking device was caught on the wheel nut as the old tyre was being taken off, this then caused a jammed nut when new tyre went on

Q Why did his pace drop off in the last few laps? Did he push too hard too soon on the super soft tyre?

Yes but it was a team decision. We decided to push to try to get Rubens - which he did do briefly, but it took too much out of the tyre

Q Why was FW31 so strong through sectors one and three?

Our performance in sector 1 was a bit of a surprise in the race as we had not been strong there during practice and qualifying. Over sector 3, we had been strong all weekend and that is because the circuit configuration in this part of the track is dominated by change of direction, and we've improved the FW31's performance in this respect significantly this year.

Q What's you assessment of KERS, having seen it race today?

It's a very valuable tool to have to promote overtaking and we want it on our car as soon as possible

Q How confident are you of maintaining this level of performance in Malaysia?

We don't know yet and it would be rash to be over-confident, it is not in our nature!
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:26 am

Malaysian Grand Prix Preview


~~~~Erratum: It was incorrectly stated in the team's Australian GP Review that Nico Rosberg "...crossed the line in P6. He was later promoted to P5." This should of course read that Nico finished in P7 and was later promoted to P6.

At a Glance
When Friday April 3 to Sunday April 5, 2009
Where Sepang Circuit, Kula Lumpur, Malaysia
Round 2 of 17
Standings N Rosberg 3 pts (6th), K Nakajima -, AT&T Williams 3pts (5th)

Malaysia Hot Topics
Will the Melbourne form guide translate to Malaysia?
Will the step between the tyre options be so profound?
Will the late session times in Sepang mean track action in the rain?

Sepang circuit in a nutshell

At many Grands Prix, drivers who qualify towards the front favour two-stop strategies -- a lighter fuel load equates to speed, rather than stealth -- while some farther back gamble on a single pit stop, in the hope that circumstance might shuffle them into the reckoning. In the gruelling heat of Malaysia, significant tyre wear might dissuade anybody from taking such a gamble. The track often remains slippery, too, because fierce overnight storms wash away rubber laid down the previous day. Note that this year's race is scheduled for late afternoon, when tropical rain is a possibility...

What the Drivers Say

On Sepang circuit

Kazuki "For me, Sepang is one of the most exciting tracks we visit during the year. That doesn't mean it is an easy track, far from it, as it has some complex and technical corner sequences and some that demand special attention such as turns 11 and 14 where your braking and turn-in sequence is different to say the least."

Nico "Just like Kazuki, I really like the Sepang circuit, it is fast and flowing and has a nice variation of corners that makes it really exciting to drive."

On Malaysia (the climate, the people, the food..)

Kazuki "Well, Malaysia is closer to my home country than many of the places we visit, so I find it more familiar in terms of the culture, the food etc. I raced at Sepang in Japanese GT, so I am also a bit better acquainted with the place, but of course the heat and the humidity are quite exceptional."

Nico "The climate makes the racing very demanding for driver and machine. The heat and humidity means that it is physically exhausting and this is one track where the fitness training over the winter really pays off. I love the country, there is a nice warmth about the people too and like almost everywhere in Asia, I like the food, so it is a good place to visit every year."

Standing back from Albert Park -- Reflections of the first race

Nico "Of course we would have liked to have achieved more in Melbourne, but three solid points was a good start. More encouraging was our pace as we were right there with the quickest, which makes me hopeful for a good season."

Kazuki "I was running as high as P4 and this would have improved to P3 when Rubens pitted, so I can't deny the sense of disappointment in how the race turned out, but I have shut this out of my mind already and I am only taking the positives of the potential we showed with me to Malaysia."

On the late start times for the first two races

Kazuki "It was difficult with the low sunlight in Australia, especially as the light flickered and changed under the tree cover. We won't have this type of shadow at Sepang, but there is a different issue which is the possibility of reduced light conditions mixed with the likelihood of rain, so for sure these late race start times will have a bearing on my approach to qualifying and the race."

Nico "In Melbourne I found this a big concern as towards the end of the race the visibility was very poor, which increased the danger in my view as it was more likely that you could make a mistake. I'd rather the race changed back to its original start time or became a proper night race - that would improve matters a lot. "
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:28 am

Williams-Toyota Technical Preview


~~~Car dynamics: Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit's corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute corners in the circuit configuration and hence the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. At Sepang, the average turn angle is 1390, against a season average of 1100, ranking as the circuit with the highest average turn angle across the Championship. As a consequence of the circuit's physical layout, an understeering car balance will have a high punitive effect on lap time.

The end of straight (EOS) speed at Sepang was 301kp/h in 2008. Sepang ranks as the 12th fastest EOS speed in the 2009 calendar, and this is one indicator of the wing level typically selected to optimise the downforce/drag ratio.

Pitlane & refuelling strategy: The pitlane length and profile (i.e. corners in the pitlane entry) contribute to the determination of the optimum fuel strategy. The pitlane loss at Sepang is approximately 22 seconds, the 5th most penalising pitlane in the Championship. To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Sepang circuit requires 2.38kg of fuel against an average of 2.42kg per 5km across all circuits this season, making the circuit the 5th least demanding track of the year in terms of fuel consumption.

Safety car: Another key contributor to the determination of race strategy is the likelihood of safety car deployments, which are influenced by weather considerations, the availability of clear run-off areas that allow racing to continue while recovery takes place and the circuit profile, especially the character of the entry and exit into turn one at the start of the race. Since 2002, there have been no safety car deployments in Sepang, making it statistically unlikely that the circuit character, based on historic data, will induce safety car periods.

~~~Temperature, pressure & humidity: It is a long observed tradition that drivers arriving at Interlagos complain about a lack of grip and an absence of engine power. Having become acquainted with a baseline of engine and aerodynamic performance during the season, the climb to 750 metres above sea level for one of the final races can, courtesy of the reduction in air density, rob a Formula One car of engine power, aerodynamic performance and cooling. The losses can come close to double digit percentages and thus have a very real impact on car performance. Air density is a factor of the prevailing ambient temperature, which varies most significantly by season, air pressure which is closely linked to altitude and, to a much smaller degree, by humidity. Thus if races are run at the same time each year, the factor that tends to have the greatest bearing on air density is elevation. Sepang is 40m above sea level and has an average pressure (1004.41 mbar) when compared to other races venue in the 2009 Championship. As a consequence, the circuit's ambient characteristics will be average for engine performance across all tracks visited during the season.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:43 am

Williams qualifying report

The AT&T Williams team held approximate station with their qualifying performance just a week ago in Melbourne, setting up the prospect of a good opportunity to challenge for a points finish in tomorrow's race. Nico Rosberg led the team's performance into Q3 and used a scrubbed set of softer option tyres to record the sixth fastest time of the day with his race fuel on board. Kazuki Nakajima missed the possibility of joining his team-mate in the final qualifying shoot-out by less than a tenth of a second, but professed himself comfortable with his car and confident of a good race tomorrow with the additional advantage of the freedom to set his race fuel -- a tactic which saw him prosper in Australia. Both drivers will be assisted by grid penalties for two competitors that will see Nico Rosberg promoted to P4 for tomorrow's start and Kazuki Nakajima will start from eleventh place.

Nico Rosberg:
I am very happy with fourth on the grid for tomorrow's race. Our general pace in the first two qualifying sessions wasn't quite where we wanted to be, but it gave us enough to work with. Then in Q3, with some fuel in the car, it felt really nice which allowed me to put in a very good lap that put me on sixth, which after the penalties for the other cars, is on the second row. From that start position as well as with a good car and a good strategy, we can be optimistic and say we have a good chance to aim for a podium. One consideration is of course the start and I will have to check who will be using KERS around me. My preference for tomorrow would definitely be a dry race because it's always the safer way to go, but if it rains, even though it will mix things up, it will be no problem and we will make the best of either situation.

Kazuki Nakajima:
The car was good, I had a good feeling in the cockpit and everything went okay today, but I just needed to find another tenth to get into Q3. Despite this, I now have the freedom to fuel the car for the optimum strategy, and with this benefit and a good long run pace, a good finish is possible if I keep my head down during the race.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
Today Nico had a good qualifying session and we expected that Kazuki would also make Q3, but he will nevertheless race well from just outside the top ten. The cars both ran well, without problems and we are looking forward to a strong race tomorrow and collecting some points.

* Vettel P3 plus 10 position penalty for infringements in Melbourne and Barrichello P4 plus 5 positions for a gearbox change. Rosberg start position therefore P4, Nakajima P11

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:46 am

Williams race report

The AT&T Williams team enjoyed a field-leading advantage for the early part of this evening's Malaysian Grand Prix, after Nico Rosberg took the race lead from the start and was pulling away from the field until his first stop on lap 15. Soon after threatening lightening and stiffening winds took longer to materialise into fully wet track conditions and precipitated a flurry of pitstops throughout the field as teams tried to anticipate the need for intermediate or full wet tyres in the variable conditions. The stops shuffled the order until the deluge of rain that had been anticipated, finally arrived and the race was red-flagged shortly after on lap 31. Nico was classified in P8 and Kazuki Nakajma in P12, but without the race reaching three quarter distance, only half points were awarded.

Nico Rosberg:
I took the lead off the start and it is a while since Williams have been out the front on pure performance and I have to thank the engineers for that. The car was going really well and I showed my ability to consistently push on each lap and open the gap to those behind me. And then the rain came and unfortunately the situation just didn't go our way. But we got something out of the day and our car is right up there, so we will be looking to get the points we deserve next time out.

Kazuki Nakajima:
I had wheelspin of the line and I dropped quite a few positions to the KERS cars around me, and I ended up behind Piquet and I struggled to get past. This affected my plan as I dropped quite a lot of time behind him and then of course the weather came along and it was impossible to make a totally correct decision with the changing conditions. It was the right thing ultimately to red flag the race and it was no surprise that we didn't restart.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
It was a great start from Nico and he continued a good performance in the dry in the first stint. When the weather came, we made the same tyre choices as the cars around us, including the Brawns and Trulli, but they gained more from their stops than us.

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:06 pm

CHINESE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Shanghai International Circuit in a nutshell
A standard two-stop race, although Timo Glock proved last season that a one-stop strategy can be converted into a points finish. Long stints demand a great deal of finesse because certain parts of the track, notably turn two which doubles back on itself, place tremendous lateral loads on the left-hand tyres. The race traditionally takes place during the European autumn but unfamiliar weather might be a factor this year because it has been brought forward to April

Talking Technical

Car dynamics
Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit’s corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit’s configuration and the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. At Shanghai, the average turn angle is 133.69 degrees, against a season average of 110 degrees, ranking it as the circuit with the second highest average turn angle across the Championship. As a consequence of the circuit’s physical layout, an understeering car balance will have a high punitive effect on lap time.

The end of straight (EOS) speed at Shanghai was 306kp/h in 2008. Shanghai ranks as having the 7th fastest EOS speed on the 2009 calendar, and this is one indicator of the wing level typically selected to optimise the downforce/drag ratio. As the average speed around Shanghai is the 13th fastest of any of the tracks, a compromise is required.

Pitlane & refuelling strategy
The pitlane length and profile (i.e. corners in the pitlane entry) contribute to the determination of the optimum fuel strategy. The pitlane loss at Shanghai is approximately 23 seconds, the 6th most penalising pitlane in the Championship. To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Shanghai circuit requires 2.55kg of fuel against an average of 2.42kg per 5km across all circuits this season, making the circuit the 4th least demanding track of the year in terms of fuel consumption.

Safety car
Another key contributor to the determination of race strategy is the likelihood of safety car deployments, which are influenced by weather considerations, the availability of clear run-off areas that allow racing to continue while recovery takes place and the circuit profile, especially the character of the entry and exit into turn one at the start of the race. Since the race debuted on the calendar in 2004, there have been 2 safety car deployments in China, both in 2005, making it statistically unlikely that the circuit’s character will induce safety car periods. The first two races of this season have already seen 3 safety car periods, however, so anything is possible!

Temperature, pressure & humidity
It is a long observed tradition that drivers arriving at Interlagos complain about a lack of grip and an absence of engine power. Having become acquainted with a baseline of engine and aerodynamic performance during the season, the climb to 750 metres above sea level for one of the final races can, courtesy of the reduction in air density, rob a Formula One car of engine power, aerodynamic performance and cooling. The losses can come close to double digit percentages and thus have a very real impact on car performance. Air density is a factor of the prevailing ambient temperature, which varies most significantly by season, air pressure which is closely linked to altitude and, to a much smaller degree, by humidity. Thus if races are run at the same time each year, the factor that tends to have the greatest bearing on air density is elevation. Like half the races on the calendar, Shanghai is close to sea level, just 10m above, and has an average pressure (1,014 mbar), so engine power will be good. A change for 2009 is that the race has been moved from October to April. Ambient temperatures are therefore expected to be cooler which will have an influence on the tyres.

What the Drivers Say

Standing back from Sepang – Reflections from a rain-drenched Malaysia
Nico “We may not have finished where we would’ve like, but it was another strong weekend for us. We qualified well and then taking the lead at the start was great. It was just a shame circumstances didn't go our way as I was looking good for another podium.”

Kazuki “Even though I qualified out of the top ten, I was looking to make some progress through the field as I was on a good strategy. Unfortunately, the rain completely compromised that. Starting the race lower down the grid, I was alongside a lot of the KERS car who are able to make better starts so my aim is to improve my qualifying position in China.”

On the Shanghai track

Kazuki “Shanghai is definitely a challenging circuit, but at least I’ve now had some experience of it so it’s not new for me anymore. Last year, we struggled on tracks like China, but now our car is looking quite strong. It’s well balanced in the high and low speed corners so I’m hoping we’ll go much better there this year and I can score my first points of the season.”

Nico “Shanghai’s a driver’s track. There’s a great mix of corners and then there are those two long straights so plenty of overtaking opportunities around the lap which will be good for the racing. Sepang showed that the team seem to have fixed the problem we had last year on these types of circuits so it’s now looking like we have consistency. I’m confident that we’ll have another competitive weekend in China. Top eight for sure.”

On China

Nico “I enjoy visiting Shanghai. Experiencing a different culture is always very interesting and there are some great places to go, like the malls for shopping or the restaurants and bars in the evenings. The fans are also very enthusiastic which is nice!”

Kazuki “Like Nico, I like this part of the world and for me it’s close to home so I get to enjoy something similar to my own culture for a little longer.”

On the break between Sepang and Shanghai

Kazuki “First I have a PR day at Suzuka for Toyota. I love Suzuka. It’s such an iconic track so to go back is special for me. I won’t get to drive it though. If I want to go round it, it will have to be on foot! I haven’t been home for four months now so I’m then going to my parents’ to spend a week with my family before flying to China.”

Nico “I went to Bali last year and loved it so I’m heading back there with my girlfriend and trainer. I’m lucky in that this job allows me to do things like that. I’ll obviously be keeping up my training, but we will be spending time in the mountains so it’ll be a cultural trip too. My camera will be making the trip and I hope to add to my portfolio with some shots of the locals, the rice fields and the great views! Among other things, I will be mountain-biking near the top of one of the volcanoes which will be cool!”

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:04 pm

CHINESE GRAND PRIX PRACTICE

Nico Rosberg: It’s been an interesting day for us. We’ve learnt a lot, particularly about the tyres and how to get the best out of them here. The one major thing for us at the moment though is that this season we have consistency from one track to another. We’re now going to a race and not getting any big surprises as we seem to have learnt from our mistakes from last year.

Kazuki Nakajima: It was a bit difficult out there for me today. The tyres were behaving strangely this morning but they did improve a little this afternoon. I was also struggling to find a good balance. I now need to see where I can improve for qualifying tomorrow. We’ll see how we go.

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:37 pm

CHINESE GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING

In another fiercely fought qualifying battle, AT&T Williams team drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima both eased into Q2, Nico entering in P5 and Kazuki in P15. Kazuki, however, was unable to progress past Q2 and was left in P15 at the flag. Glock’s five place penalty promotes Kazuki to fourteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Nico fared somewhat better making it into the final round of qualifying, therefore maintaining his unblemished record this season, and ended the deciding session with the seventh fastest time of the day.

Nico Rosberg:
This is where we are at the moment. We are the fourth best team out there so seventh place is more or less where we expected to be. We struggled slightly in warming up the tyres, but otherwise I am quite pleased. Strategy-wise, we are looking good and I’m not worried about our race pace. If you look at Malaysia we were pretty strong in the race even though the tyres are a challenge, both hard and soft. We’ll have to see how everyone around us looks in terms of fuel. It would be good if, after Australia and Malaysia, things would go a bit more our way tomorrow. I must say that, for me, today’s surprise was Alonso.

Kazuki Nakajima:
The car is as competitive as it was in Malaysia and we’re still making progress, so this result is a shame. I really hope I can do better in the race, but we first need to look at our data and see what was going on with the car and try to resolve it. We’ll do our best to get a good strategy in place as you never know what can happen in a Grand Prix.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
It’s disappointing that Kazuki wasn’t higher today. With Nico, we could have done better in managing his run in Q3, but it didn’t work out as planned today. We should have a more competitive race pace, so we’re looking forward to a good performance tomorrow.

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:33 pm

CHINESE GRAND PRIX – RACE

Rain continued to play a part in this year’s World Championship as today’s Chinese Grand Prix played out under steady rainfall creating difficult conditions for the drivers and a host of cars falling off the race track throughout the 56 laps. With the race started under the safety car, the team opted to alter Nico’s strategy, bringing him in early from seventh position. Unfortunately, an unexpectedly premature end to the safety car period left Nico at the back of the pack and unable to recover position leaving him in P15 at the end of the race. Kazuki’s afternoon was similarly fruitless. After several excursions off the race track, his race ended on lap 43 following the team’s first mechanical failure since the Spanish Grand Prix last year.

Nico Rosberg:
The main problem I had today was drops sticking to my visor which wouldn’t run off making it virtually impossible to see. It’s a problem related to my visor’s anti-fog system which I’ve had in the past but haven’t been able to resolve. 15 laps before the end of the race we were not in a good position so I asked to be switched onto intermediates as I thought we had to try something. For the first few laps, they were good. It looked like the way to go so I was quite pleased, but then unfortunately more rain came and it was all over again. Bahrain is only a week away and a good result, which everyone in the team deserves, is overdue.

Kazuki Nakajima:
I had a transmission problem today so unfortunately I couldn’t carry on with the race. It was very difficult out there with really poor visibility. There was a lot of standing water and it was hard to keep the car on the track, particularly on the exit of the last corner. I made some mistakes but it was the same for everybody.

Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:
We thought the safety car would stay out for longer than it did at the start of the race so we decided to pull Nico in early to fuel him up. It turned out to be the wrong call as the safety car came in just one lap later. We then struggled for pace against Alonso who had done the same as us. We had what appears to be a gearbox failure on Kazuki’s car which forced us to retire him. It was not a good performance by us today. We made some wrong calls and we will have to look at the circumstances and improve for the future. It’s also very unusual for us to have a retirement for a technical failure. We will now look forward to a much better performance in Bahrain.

On a separate note, the team is saddened by the unexpected death of Jim Douglas. With Williams since the early days, Jim was a stalwart in our machine shop for 28 years.

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:21 pm

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Bahrain International Circuit in a nutshell
Race strategies tend to be conventional in Bahrain. Teams tend to favour two stop fuel loads and build in a margin of flexibility to guard against possible safety car interruptions, but the same cannot be said of the location. Bahrain became the first Middle Eastern state to host a World Championship Grand Prix in 2004 and the circuit is frequently sandblasted, and rendered very slippery, by fierce winds that whip across the adjacent desert.

Talking Technical

Car dynamics
Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit’s corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit’s configuration and the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. At Bahrain, the average turn angle is 123.56 degrees, against a season average of 110 degrees, ranking it as the circuit with the 5th highest average turn angle across the Championship.

The end of straight (EOS) speed at Bahrain was 303kp/h in 2008. Bahrain ranks as having the 8th fastest EOS speed on the 2009 calendar, and this is one indicator of the wing level typically selected to optimise the downforce/drag ratio. As the average speed around Bahrain is the 8th fastest of any of the tracks, a compromise is required.

Pitlane & refuelling strategy
The pitlane length and profile (i.e. corners in the pitlane entry) contribute to the determination of the optimum fuel strategy. The pitlane loss at Bahrain is approximately 23 seconds, the 5th most penalising pitlane in the Championship. To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Bahrain circuit requires 2.66kg of fuel against an average of 2.42kg per 5km across all circuits this season, making the circuit the 4th least demanding track of the year in terms of fuel consumption.

Safety car
Another key contributor to the determination of race strategy is the likelihood of safety car deployments, which are influenced by weather considerations, the availability of clear run-off areas that allow racing to continue while recovery takes place and the circuit profile, especially the character of the entry and exit into turn one at the start of the race. Since the race debuted on the calendar in 2004, there has been 1 safety car deployment in Bahrain, in 2007, making it statistically unlikely that the circuit’s character will induce safety car periods. The first two races of this season have already seen 5 safety car periods, however, so anything is possible!

Temperature, pressure & humidity
It is a long observed tradition that drivers arriving at Interlagos complain about a lack of grip and an absence of engine power. Having become acquainted with a baseline of engine and aerodynamic performance during the season, the climb to 750 metres above sea level for one of the final races can, courtesy of the reduction in air density, rob a Formula One car of engine power, aerodynamic performance and cooling. The losses can come close to double digit percentages and thus have a very real impact on car performance. Air density is a factor of the prevailing ambient temperature, which varies most significantly by season, air pressure which is closely linked to altitude and, to a much smaller degree, by humidity. Thus if races are run at the same time each year, the factor that tends to have the greatest bearing on air density is elevation. Like half the races on the calendar, Bahrain is close to sea level, just 10m above, and has an average pressure (1,011 mbar), so engine power will be good.

What the Drivers Say
Conclusions from China – Reflections from another wet race
Nico “Once again it didn’t go our way in China. My major problem was a real lack of visibility as the water just wasn’t clearing off my visor. We also made some calls that didn’t work out well. It’s nice that we now have another race straightaway that we can look forward to doing better at.”

Kazuki “Shanghai was difficult. The water on the track just caused you to aquaplane, particularly at the exit of the last corner, and I went off a couple of times before I finally retired with a transmission problem. We had a good de-brief afterwards and hopefully we can keep up the pace we have and translate that into something good this weekend.”

On the Bahrain International Circuit
Kazuki “I didn’t have a great weekend in Bahrain last year and found it difficult to get used to the track. I’m more positive going there this year so hopefully it will be a different story. It’s a stop and go track where you need straight line speed, good breaks and traction to do well. Corners 9 and 10 are a bit tricky, you have to really use your breaks and there’s a lot of lateral loading.”

Nico “Bahrain is one of my favourite tracks. Last year the car went well there and we won’t have any issues with warming up the tyres. Downforce level is always really important there for the corners, but then there’s a compromise required so you can fight the other cars on the fast straights. We’re confident going to Bahrain that we can finally get a good result.”

On Bahrain itself
Nico “It might not be the most interesting place we go to, but I’ve always had good experiences there. I first raced at Bahrain in 2004 in F3, then won the GP2 Championship there in 2005. In my first race for Williams, I started in 12th but took the nose off on the first corner. After I pitted for a new nose, I had a good race and in the end I made my way up to 7th which meant two points. I also got the fastest lap of the race. As I’ve always had good races there, I really enjoy going to Bahrain.”

Kazuki “Bahrain isn’t a particularly interesting place to visit! There’s not much to do or see so I think I’ll be staying in my hotel a lot!

On the break between Shanghai and Bahrain
Kazuki “I’m going to Dubai before Bahrain. I’ll be with my trainer so we’ll be doing lots of preparation work to get me ready for the hot weather we’re expecting.”

Nico “I’m going to Bahrain early to get used to the time difference. I’ll just be chilling out and doing some training I think.”

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:01 am

Nico Rosberg:
You can only ever compare your performance to other race weekends so, relatively, I think we are looking ok. We’ve done a lot of set-up work today and I am quite happy with everything so we’ve made good progress. The team brought some new parts to Bahrain and they seem to be working well so thanks to our aero guys for their continuing hard work in developing the car. I am really convinced that we will be able to do something positive at this race and to get the points that the car is worth.

Kazuki Nakajima:
Today didn’t go too badly but we are lacking some pace compared to Nico. I’ll now de-brief with my engineers to try to find out where I’m losing that time so I can make it up in tomorrow’s qualifying. The circuit is getting better and better the more laps we do, which is good. It’s also really hot out there, but fortunately it’s bearable.

(Note: Only Nico Rosberg is running with the team’s new aero parts, Kazuki Nakajima will have them for the Spanish GP.)

DRIVER SESSION 1 SESSION 2
N ROSBERG 1:34.227 (4th) 24 LAPS 1:33.339 (1st) 36 LAPS Chassis FW31-03 Engine H450
K NAKAJIMA 1:34.880 (11th) 24 LAPS 1:33.899 (10th) 36 LAPS Chassis FW31-04 Engine H452

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Wed May 06, 2009 10:11 pm

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING
SATURDAY 25 APRIL, 2009

At a blisteringly hot Bahrain International Circuit, where ambient temperatures peaked at 38°C this afternoon, both AT&T Williams drivers executed the transition from the opening Q1 round of qualifying into Q2 today. Kazuki Nakajima ended up just one and half tenths short of progressing through to Q3 and will take the 12th slot on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Team mate Nico Rosberg faired only slightly better. Making it into the final shoot out session, and therefore leaving his run of Q3 appearances so far this season unblemished, Nico will line up in P9 for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg:
That was not a good qualifying from me as I really didn’t feel comfortable in the car today. We were just lucky we made it through to the third round because it was very close. In the end, P9 is ok because we have a lot of fuel onboard so, strategy-wise, I think we are looking pretty competitive. My hope for tomorrow is definitely to finish in the points and I think that’s achievable. Our race car is pretty good, so we should have a consistent pace and everything is possible from ninth.

Kazuki Nakajima:
It’s difficult to say where I lost my time. I didn’t make any mistakes and the car was performing pretty well. If I think about the gap separating Nico and me, I’m pleased with my afternoon. Overall, though, I have mixed feelings as I should have made it into Q3.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
This result is where we expected to be. Ninth is a good position from where Nico can target a points-scoring finish tomorrow and Kazuki did a good job considering he doesn’t have the same package that Nico is running.
He also equalled his season best qualifying position today. In conclusion, we will be aiming for points with both cars. Congratulations to Toyota for taking the front row.

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Wed May 06, 2009 10:13 pm

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – RACE
SUNDAY 26 APRIL, 2009

An altogether more predictable Grand Prix unfolded at Bahrain’s International Circuit today which compounded its reputation as one of the most hostile racing environments on the calendar as temperatures reached a sweltering 55°C in the cockpit. Effectively fighting from last place following a second lap incident which resulted in a premature stop for a new front wing, Kazuki Nakajima was unable to recover any significant ground during the race and, with only eight laps to go, was ultimately forced into retirement following an oil pressure problem. Nico Rosberg lost position at the start but soon settled into a consistent pace among the melee of top ten drivers.
Traffic, however, compromised Nico’s strategy and prevented him from improving upon his position leaving him to conclude the Grand Prix where he started, in ninth and just outside of the points.

Nico Rosberg:
It was not so good today. I was on the limit and really got the best out of it, but we were simply not quick enough. I lost so many places at the start because all of the KERS cars came flying past me, which was really shocking because I had a very good start. This is just where we are at the moment so we need to push hard to improve and catch up with the others in front. Just like everyone else, we will have some new parts ready for Barcelona and I hope our package will be competitive.

Kazuki Nakajima:
It’s was a disappointing race for me. My start was average but it was very difficult to defend against the cars around me that had KERS. It was then very close going into the first corner on the second lap and I damaged my front wing so I had to pit early. I came out at the back of the field and from there I couldn’t make up any ground. In the end, my oil pressure was spiking so we took the decision to retire the car. The one positive thing is that the car felt good so we will hopefully do better at the next race.

Sam Michael, Technical Director:
In Nico’s case, we started ninth and finish ninth so we didn’t manage to capitalise on the strategy that we had. He had a good start, but he then lost positions going into turn one so we’ll have to look and see what happened there. He then spent the stints where we needed clean air behind traffic. Kazuki had an accident on lap two going into turn one and that was it for his race. We’ll now look ahead to a better performance in Barcelona.
Points: AT&T Williams 3.5 (8th), Nico Rosberg 3.5 (11th), Kazuki Nakajima 0 (19th)

Ed
NewsOnF1 Editor
NewsOnF1 Editor
Posts: 22255
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:24 pm

Postby Ed » Wed May 06, 2009 10:21 pm

SPANISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Circuit de Catalunya in a nutshell
Familiarity breeds consent…Teams and drivers conduct much of their winter testing in Barcelona and baseline set-ups are established long before cars take to the track on the Friday morning of a Grand Prix weekend.
Normally, only detail alterations are required to tailor chassis to suit prevailing weather conditions, wind direction and the like. It is invariably a straightforward two-stop race that throws up fewer surprises than most.

Talking technical

Car dynamics
Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit’s corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit’s configuration and the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. At Barcelona, the average turn angle is 113.17 degrees, against a season average of 110 degrees, ranking it as the circuit with the 8th highest average turn angle across the Championship.
The end of straight (EOS) speed at Barcelona was 308kp/h in 2008. Barcelona ranks as having the 6th fastest EOS speed on the 2009 calendar, and this is one indicator of the wing level typically selected to optimise the downforce/drag ratio. Meanwhile, Barcelona has the 12th fastest average lap speed of any of the tracks on the calendar. Since the introduction of the chicane in 2007, corner speed has decreased shifting the emphasis away from high speed corner performance.

Pitlane & refuelling strategy
The pitlane length and profile (i.e. corners in the pitlane entry) contribute to the determination of the optimum fuel strategy. The pitlane loss at Barcelona is approximately 22 seconds, the 6th most penalising pitlane in the Championship. To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Barcelona circuit requires 2.44kg of fuel against an average of 2.42kg per 5km across all circuits this season, making the circuit the 8th most demanding track of the year in terms of fuel consumption.

Safety car
Another key contributor to the determination of race strategy is the likelihood of safety car deployments, which are influenced by weather considerations, the availability of clear run-off areas that allow racing to continue while recovery takes place and the circuit profile, especially the character of the entry and exit into turn one at the start of the race. Since the race debuted on the calendar in 1991, there have been 4 safety car deployments in Barcelona, making it statistically unlikely that the circuit’s character will induce safety car periods. The first four races of this season have already seen 5 safety car periods, however, so anything is possible.

Temperature, pressure & humidity
As an example, it is a long observed tradition that drivers arriving at Interlagos complain about a lack of grip and an absence of engine power. Having become acquainted with a baseline of engine and aerodynamic performance during the season, the climb to 750 metres above sea level for one of the final races can, courtesy of the reduction in air density, rob a Formula One car of engine power, aerodynamic performance and cooling.
The losses can come close to double digit percentages and thus have a very real impact on car performance. Air density is a factor of the prevailing ambient temperature, which varies most significantly by season, air pressure which is closely linked to altitude and, to a much smaller degree, by humidity. Thus if races are run at the same time each year, the factor that tends to have the greatest bearing on air density is elevation. Like half the races on the calendar, Barcelona is close to sea level, just 140m above, and has an average pressure (1,002 mbar).
The first four races have been just 10m above sea level, so engines will have slightly less power at Barcelona.

What the drivers say

Thoughts after the season-opening flyaways

Nico “It’s been a bit of a frustrating start to the season. We should be going into Europe with more than 3.5 points from the first four races. We were looking competitive at the outset in Australia, but things just haven’t gone our way. It’s also so close out there, probably the closest season I’ve raced in. We’ll have some aero upgrades for Barcelona which I’m hoping will help us and push us further up the grid. It would be good to score some points to reward the team at Grove who have been pushing really hard.”

Kazuki “It’s been a tough start to the season for me. I’ve had three DNFs out of four races and I don’t want anymore. I’m going to put them behind me now though and concentrate on the work ahead. There’s still 12 more races to go and I’m determined to get some good results for myself and for the team.”

On returning home after a six week trip

Kazuki “It’s nice to be home after so long away. I’m spending the ten days in Oxford and will catch up with friends over some football and, hopefully, a softball game at the weekend. There will also be a few visits to the factory to talk to my engineers about Barcelona and to use the simulator to prepare myself as much as I can for the track. No doubt my trainer will also be putting me through my paces as well!”

Nico “It’s been a long trip so I’ll be resting a bit between the usual training I do before races. I also have lots of personal things to do as I haven’t been home for six weeks and that will definitely include catching up with friends and family.”

On the Circuit de Catalunya

Kazuki “I really like Barcelona and have lots of racing experience there. Last year, I had a good qualifying session and scored two points for the team coming 7th in my debut race. As I haven’t had a great first few Grands Prix, I hope that this will mark the start of a new phase for me and I can do something good in Barcelona.”

Nico “As we spend quite a lot of time testing at Barcelona, it’s a circuit we all know well. Last year was going really well for me and I was looking good for 6th place, but then a technical problem put me out of the race. The only concern with Barcelona is that track conditions are constantly changing, so knowing what direction to go with the set-up can prove hard.”

On the development battle

Kazuki “I didn’t have the new parts on my car in Bahrain so I’m looking forward to trying those out in Spain and to see how the other new bits go. I’m sure that the upgraded package will be a step forward, we already know how much time it will give us, but it’s all relative compared to what the other teams have done.”

Nico “With the new rule changes, this year really is all about who makes the greatest progress back at the factories with development. As with all the other teams, we’ll have an upgraded car in Spain and I hope it will make the difference we need.”


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests