FW14B vs 2010 cars. How good could it be?

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    So here is my question, this year we had for the first time since 1992 a year where there was no refueling. In 1992 the dominant car was the amazing Williams FW14B that was so good they didn’t even use their 1992 developed car that was the FW15.

    In 1992 the cars were allowed to have a lot more gizmos like active suspension, traction control, and of-course they were allowed bigger engines and the FW14B had a V10 Renault.

    So considering all this, if by some magical way we had a top driver in a 1992 Williams driving together with the 2010 cars, how well will he do?

    Will he be running at the top, the middle or at the back end of the grid? Will he be getting lapped by HRT or will he be giving Hamilton and Alonso a difficult time?



    Actually, there was no refueling in 1993 either. 1994 was the first year with refueling.

    Looking at the times for the Brazilian Grands Prix of 1992 and 2010 (both dry races on a track which to my memory hasn’t had drastic changes between), Nigel Mansell in 1992 finished the race over 3:40 behind Sebastian Vettel in 2010. Nigel Mansell would have been racing with the Virgins and Hispanias.

    According to Wikipedia, Alain Prost’s pole position time for Hungary 1993 was 4 seconds faster than Vettel’s pole in 2010. However Hamilton’s pole at Montreal in 2010 was almost 4 seconds faster than Prost’s pole in 1993.

    All of these comparisons are iffy at best. You really can’t tell accurately unless the cars are on the same piece of the track at the same time.

    I think the cars of 2004 were some of the fastest ever. They seem to hold most of the lap records and covered Grands Prix with the highest average speeds. On grooved tires too.

    Anthony Davidson once said during a commentary that the biggest of increase in performance has come from tire development.



    You are absolutely right. Sorry for that. It was 1993 and the car should be FW15C instead of FW14B. The idea of comparing the old car with the new ones just came to my head and i jumped on it in a haste. I have no idea why i had in my mind 1992 at the time because i knew it was 1993 since i saw that year and ironically it was one of my favorites because of Senna’s achievements with that low power Mclaren, sometimes our mind plays weird tricks on us.

    Anyway on topic, you put comparisons with the Hungarian GP and Canada. How unchanged are those tracks? I really don’t remember all the little changes tracks had threw the years.

    How can he be 4 seconds faster at one and then 4 seconds slower at another? That must be because of the track difference threw the years.

    So that still leaves us with the question if a 1993 Williams could stand against today’s cars.

    What you said about tyres is very interesting. Do you assume that if that Williams had tyres with the same chemical substance as the 2010 Bridgestones it could be 4-5 seconds faster that what it was in 1993?

    I realize that is hard to have a 100% correct estimation but that’s why i made the thread. I want to see if along with other peoples knowledge we could come to a good conclusion on what the performance of that 1993 Williams could be in comparison with modern F1 cars.



    The best tyres, though grooved, where probably the 06 tyres, last of the tyre war. (Couldn’t resist Dr Who’s back soon, xmas special was awesome) 04 was some sort of peak in terms of the ratio of downforce, BHP, revs etc. 08 probably saw aero reach a peak of complexity due to the long stable rules.

    Basically, if the teams could be as unrestricted as the where in 1993 the cars would be monstrously quick, however the FW14 might stil thrive on certain tracks due to it’s unique characteristics, a hint of the obcene numbers around the corner in the modern age of F1, an the unrestricted nature of it’s regulations.



    I think Interlagos is the circuit which has been the same for the longest time now. Hungaroring had changes in 2003 where s/f straight was lengthened and right-left chicane removed in 3rd sector. Nowadays they drive 70 laps, in 1993 they had 77.

    In Montreal the change was made in 2002 when they moved the hairpin a little bit.



    All of the tracks which were used in 1993 have either been changed or are no longer used, so it may take a bit of creative accounting to work out how the cars would compare if they went head to head today.

    Just from having watched F1 for that period I’d have to say that today’s cars would probably beat the 1993 ones, simply because they seem to corner far more quickly and they have far better tyres. I remember Brundle saying a few years back (could have been during the tyre war) that his qualifying rubber in the early 90’s was harder than the modern soft tyre and could only last 2-3 laps. Another simple example is that when I started watching F1 it was a feat of great skill (and bravery) to take Bridge Corner at Silverstone on full throttle, and for the last few years the drivers have actually been shifting up in the middle of the corner, so I’m pretty sure that the modern cars would win.

    All we can hope for is that Sir Frank, Ron or Luca Di Monte decide to give us a late Christmas present by racing one of their 93 cars against one of their new models!



    That will be a nice late Christmas present indeed Geemac. Do the teams have a stock of old Goodyear tyres?

    For little bit of an answer to your argument about taking corners in 1993, look at this two small videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw_YmEHgrBE(first we see the corner with Prost-Senna and then Schumacher)

    And then this, showing Eau Rouge at Spa.


    @bleu, unfortunately this years Qualifying in Brazil doesn’t count as it was wet. And to add to our misery the track in 1993 was kind of moist during the race so not a good indicator ether. The faster lap was made by Schumacher with 1’20.024 while Heikki Kovalainen with a Lotus that wasn’t exactly the best of the field made a personal faster lap of 1.17.161 this year.

    But todays cars must be faster since in 1992 i think it was dry and the best lap was made by Riccardo Patrese with a Williams W14B and it was 1’19.490. If we assume that FW15C was about 1.5-2second faster than it’s predecessor then if the track was dry in 1993 a 1.17.something could have been possible.

    The track at 1993 was 4325 m. How much is it now?

    Of course at those days the Brazilian GP was at the start of the year instead of the end, so today’s cars have the advantage of their mechanics knowing better how to set them up and have all the time earned threw the development of the year on them.



    I read an argument that this year’s cars were actually faster than in 2004. It was on the autosport forums somewhere, I don’t have the time to check right now but its worth a read if you can find it.

    Simply because of technology increases, I’d say that this years cars would easily beat those from 1993. However, i’m sure they would be closer together than most top teams would like to admit!


    Donald Lovefunk

    I came across this article about the FW15C just a few days ago:


    Given the rate of development in F1, the technological advances made since 93 should have more than compensated for the array of driver aids available back then. Im thinking along the lines of more advanced aerodynamics, a more stable chassis, faster gear changes, etc. Also I would expect the V8s currently used to be more fuel efficient than the Renault V10 that year, so this adds another variable into the equation.



    This year’s cars have been faster than the 2004 cars during qualifying. Vettel’s pole lap in Australia was half a second quicker than Schumacher’s pole in 2004. However, that’s at least partially due to slick tires and low fuel qualifying nowadays. Also, Melbourne isn’t really a power circuit.

    At Monza, the power disadvantage of today’s engines really shows. Alonso’s low fuel pole this year was almost 2 seconds slower than Barrichello’s pole in 2004 and the fastest lap was almost 3 seconds slower.

    Zsolt Baumgartener’s back of the grid time at Interlagos 2004 would have put him on pole position in 2003, 18 months earlier, James Allen mentioned in the commentary citing the crazy development pace of F1 at the time, though I can’t recall if the qualifying sessions were affected by rain.

    To answer all of our questions, there needs to be an F1 historical series, kind of like Le Mans Classic races. Instead of the occasional demonstration, we could see wondrous things such as this race between Fangio and Brabham.



    Adam Tate

    For me I like most to wonder about what elements of the different cars make them superior to one another. Or what combinations would make the fastest overall car. I would love to see an F2008 with a V10, running on slicks. It would likely destroy anything out there. What do you guys think?

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