Williams to run 2012 car at first test

2013 F1 season

Williams FW34, Jerez, 2012Williams have become the first team to confirm they will run a 2012-specification car at the first test of 2013.

“For the earlier Jerez test starting on the 5th February, the team will run the 2012 FW34 in order to test a number of key development parts in preparation for the launch of the FW35,” said the team in a statement, adding that the old car would run in their new livery.

The FW35 will be launched on February 19th at the start of the second test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Williams are the eighth team to confirm details of their 2013 launch plans, leaving Lotus, Caterham and Marussia yet to confirm theirs. The others teams have all announced their 2013 cars will appear before the Jerez test begins.

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19 comments on Williams to run 2012 car at first test

  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 18th January 2013, 9:46

    If I understand correctly, they will unveil the livery at the first test and the actual car at the second test? Too bad: I believe two years ago they ran a special, dark blue livery to not unveil their actual livery. Was looking forward to seeing that on track again.

  2. It didn’t appear to me that Williams were particularly hampered in their 2013 development programme from late 2012-season development (unlike Red Bull for example) so I wonder why they have elected to run the 2012 car. Testing is particularly short this year and that will leave only 6 days testing for the 2013 car so I wonder if they are planning on brining a new component to the car, which they will gather data for and consequently make adjustments to the 2013 car which couldn’t be done pre-release. Interesting decision…

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 18th January 2013, 11:49

      @vettel1 No much change in regulation, it could be their strategy to test the tyres during the first test on a known car … then testing the car. Could be a way to be sure to understand how the tyres evolved from last year without costing them too much as we expect similar cars as last year (stepped nose apart)

      • @jeanrien – I’m not expecting it to ruin their hopes of progressing from 8th in the constructor’s championship but we’ll see how it pans out! That is a possible reason you have stated, I’m just coming up with theories: perhaps simply they just thought it’d be better to spend the extra time refining the 2013 car before they are limited to what they can do to adapt it.

  3. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 18th January 2013, 12:26

    a strange turn of events imo…

    Williams was not exactly fighting for a better position in the championship to the end of last year, so you would not expect that they had to divert recources from the 2013 car.

    So that leaves two options I think:

    a) the have done something radical that needs confirmation or calibration on the 2012 car so they can make final adjustments.

    b) they are already focussing a lot of work and recources on de 2014 car

    Anything else wouldn’t make much sense to me. bottas clearly needs all the running he can get, preferably in the new car ofcouse. They haad a car with potential last year, so the new one would logicly be a development of that, unless they ahd something revolutionary…

    very strange

    • @melkurion my immediate suspicion was “option a)” but others have also raised some plausible possibilities like gaining a greater understanding of the tyres in an known entity (i.e. the FW34) but I feel that is quite a high risk strategy as there is no guarantee the climatic conditions will merit usefull data (although of course other parameters can be tested besides tyres). So it will be very interesting to see the FW35!

      • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 18th January 2013, 22:07

        @vettel1 Well I have considered the tire issue, but I don’t think it holds up. First of all they had a chance to sample the new rubber in brazil on friday . And the general concensus was that although they are different, they are not radically so. Ofcourse those were only “prototypes” , but I doubt the final product will vary so much that Williams would be willing to sacrife a full thid of their test days on just confirming how different the tires are…..

        So I argree, looking formard to seeing the FW35 ! :D

    • Skett (@skett) said on 18th January 2013, 22:27

      Well my guess is that its something to do with the coanda exhaust, since Williams had a bit of a hard time getting it to work with their slimline gearbox last year. Probably better to test it on a car they know than one they don’t after all

  4. The tyre argument seems to make sense to me. They were the biggest problem in the past season, so it is crucial to get to grips with the new specification as soon as possible. If you go out with a new car on new tyres, you do not know for sure where the differences you observe come from, tyres or the car. If you put new tyres on a thoroughly tested car, you can get a direct comparison with last year’s specification.

  5. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 18th January 2013, 17:28

    I don’t think there is much other cause for running the 2012 car in the first test than to get a better understanding of the new tyres, as others have stated, which I have to say is a smart move, considering how much of a part they played in the beginning of last season.

    I say good luck to them. They’ve never been my favourite team, but I think if they can be more consistent than they were last year, then they can definitely have a much better season.

  6. madgerz (@madgerz) said on 19th January 2013, 3:06

    I am not convinced with the view point of comparing the tyre performance and better understanding them for few reasons
    1) All the teams had a look at the new tyres in Brazil and should have collected the req data based on the 2012 car (even though they were prototypes)
    2) The challengers for 2013 have the rules stability
    3) It is good to put more mileage in the new car (as the testing is even more limited)
    4) Since the new tyres are said to have aero effects on the car,
    it is better to understand them on the new car.
    Hence, I personally believe that Williams are already starting the season a step back…

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th January 2013, 12:04

    Cue Bottas topping the timing sheets and being hailed as a championship contender.

  8. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 21st January 2013, 21:24

    Now we know why it’ll be a bit late – they need time to take off all the fake parts they’ve been showing to Toto Wolff, and put the real ones on.

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