Williams technical director Mike Coughlan says the addition of a Coanda exhaust to Williams’ new car should make them more competitive.
“One thing we didn’t do last year was Coanda,” said Coughlan after the launch of the new car today.
“We spent a lot of time doing Coanda studies and ensuring we understood the compromise between power and dowmforce.
“I think we’ve done a good job there, that’s obviously helped an awful lot by Renault and Renault’s understanding of engine mapping and engines so we’re very pleased. And that does give us a significant step forwards.”
Coanda exhausts were used by several teams last year to recreate some of the downforce gains that exhaust-blown diffusers made possible until they were restricted at the end of 2011.
Coughlan said the team were hesitant to introduce their version of the exhaust last year: “All we were cautious of – maybe too cautious – was the loss of power.
“You have to remember that last year a lot of people spent a lot of time doing that work, we perhaps didn’t, and maybe should have done.
“I think we could have had Conada, we tested Coanda at Brazil. Maybe we should or could have brought that a little earlier. It was just the loss of power. Lotus were the same: very wary of the loss of power.”
Coughlan added the team have more than halved the loss of power through the exhaust compared to the version they developed last year.
He said the departure of chief operations officer Mark Gillan at the end of last season had not affected the development of the new car as his role was in operations.
“Mark struggled with the work toll that is very difficult,” said Coughlan “So many back-to-back away [races].”
“But Mark had not influence on development. That’s done by Jason [Somerville, head of aerodynamics] and his team.”
Coughlan also said the team must not miss out on chances to score big points as they did at times last year: “Last year we had several opportunities we didn’t close out.”
“I think ultimately, as a team, including the drivers, what we need to do is focus on maximising our performance and delivering on it when we can.”
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