Williams improve rear wing efficiency

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Development is still going on at a devastating pace ahead of Melbourne, and Williams have come up with a new solution to optimise the airflow around the driver's helmet. This area is well known for being 'trouble', hence lots of progress can still be made there. The new solution somewhat resembles the famous BMW Sauber 'towers' positioned ahead of the cockpit. On the FW31, the extensions aim to straighten airflow aside of the driver to better guide it towards the rear wing. Such design is additionally very interesting under yaw as it aims to do similar things as the well-known shark fins.


By DanyalDenyo on 09-03-2009 at 00:13

didn't know this was allowed in this area

By pliskinrob on 09-03-2009 at 02:51

it is allowed, but the FIA down on it over safety to the drivers head.

Wouldent be suprised if this was outlawed

By jddh1 on 09-03-2009 at 15:05

I don't like this solution because these plates are just too close to the driver's head. I also think it will be obstructing the marshals in case they need to pull a driver out fast. If they push them back about 25 cm (if it's allowed to go that far back), I have no problem with them.

By wesley123 on 09-03-2009 at 16:10

This solution is completely safe and legal, it sint close to anyhing and if it will hit the drivers head it will just shatter into pieces.

By pete555 on 09-03-2009 at 23:07

" if it will hit the drivers head it will just shatter into pieces."

The shark fin or the drivers head!!

By wesley123 on 10-03-2009 at 15:32

Those fins, you know how thin they are?

The helmets are bulletproof so nothing can happen to the drivers.

By jddh1 on 11-03-2009 at 21:15

They are now requested to be removed.

By elo on 13-03-2009 at 12:01

Remember how Senna dead! Just a small mechanical part intruded the visor and hit his forehead. I agree to ban these fins.

By Ruudje on 13-03-2009 at 14:01

"Senna was 34 years old at the time of his death. What had likely happened was that the right front wheel had shot up after impact like a catapult and entered the cockpit area where Senna was sitting.[citation needed] It struck the right frontal area of his helmet, and the violence of the wheel’s impact pushed his head back against the headrest, causing fatal skull fractures.[citation needed] A piece of upright attached to the wheel had partially penetrated his helmet and caused a trauma to his head.[citation needed] In addition, it appeared that a jagged piece of the upright assembly had penetrated the helmet visor just above his right eye.[citation needed] Any one of the three injuries would probably have killed him.[2]" Senna was killed by a wheel (with parts connected) that hit him. The upright that penetrated his helmet was/is a lot stronger than a carbonfiber fin. combined with the attached mass it was able to penetrate. Rememebr that the visors are bulletproof. These fins form no danger at all during an accident. They do however obstruct the rescue of an possibly injured driver.

By wesley123 on 13-03-2009 at 17:13

@elo; Apart from that the helmet wasnt bullet proof and the suspension arms are steel you are right

By Ruudje on 14-03-2009 at 18:29

I assume that comment was addressed to me, I never said the arm was made of carbon. But I was mistaken about the bullet proof visors. Not quite bullet proof but very strong nonetheless. If it weren't for the added mass of the tyre, I believe it wouldn't have penetrated.

By wesley123 on 14-03-2009 at 21:40

nh it was aimed at elo.

and to further go agaisnt it.

If an suspension arm killed senna, why not ban those?

By vyselegend on 15-03-2009 at 15:06

very good point wesley.
If every part of a racing car involved once in a fatal accident had been baned, what would remain of the cars nowadays?

Trying to make all the parts safe is the thing to do. Of course you'll never reach the 0% risk, but at least you'll make progress by learning from your errors, while banning everything won't lead you anywhere. ;)

I think Williams is making a cleaver use of the rules, although it is obviously against the spirit of them... But so are BMW's shark gills, Red Bull giant fin, FI and Brawn's mirror mounting,Renault's nose skirts, Ferrari's and other's sidepod vanes & barge boards... Agreed, we won't have the clean looking body, slik aero that was promised, and cars will soon look as complex than last year. I guess that's in the order of things.

@jddh1 Where did you read that? I didn't found any report of the FIA asking for their removal.

By Saribro on 16-03-2009 at 00:22

"banning suspension" is actually a stupid point. Suspension is -required- for the car -to work- in -any- capacity at all. The Williams skate-fins do not come even close to that.
I'll grant that it's nice loophole spotting from the designers of course.

I'll tell you the ultimate solution: Ban in-car drivers , use remote control + simulators. That just leaves the spectators, pit-crew, marshalls,...

By jddh1 on 17-03-2009 at 12:42

@ vyselegend:
I don't remember the source, but I read somewhere that Charlie Whiting went to the tests at Barcelona and after evaluating the fins, requested the team to remove them on safety grounds. Run a search on the web and see what you get as far as the source is concerned. I just don't remember now; it's been too long.

By vyselegend on 17-03-2009 at 15:00

Thank you jddh1.

Now Sam Michael have officialy anounced the team won't run them. RIP, skate fins...

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