I n the Formula 1 is not only on the track fought against time. The development race in the design offices is also exciting. Especially in the Williams factory in Grove, there was a lot of hustle and bustle before the Bahrain weekend. The engineers wanted to do the first test kilometers with the new nose on the desert course.
Williams nose comes by air freight
It was supposed to make its debut in Australia, but the necessary FIA crash test was only passed on the second attempt. And the punctual delivery didn't quite work out for Bahrain either. The update package, consisting of the 5 centimeter shorter nose and the completely rebuilt front wing, was only sent by air freight from London to Bahrain on Friday evening.
Because only one copy was made in a hurry, only came Felipe Massa can enjoy the new parts. There was no significant progress due to the limited test time. Because of the great potential of the expansion stage, the engineers wanted to start collecting data as quickly as possible.
At HaasF1, too, they fought against the clock in the factory. But of the planned new front wing, the supplier Dallara could have finished with hanging and choking at most one copy. Because of Romain Grosjean's crashes in Australia (training collision with Haryanto) and Esteban Gutierrez (racing accident with Alonso), the carbon department was already at full capacity. And so team boss Guenther Steiner postponed the update to the GP China.
New McLaren wing with numerous changes
At McLaren, however, they managed to deliver the new front wings in time for Bahrain. Team boss Eric Boullier spoke of a completely new design philosophy. In a direct comparison with the old model, there were indeed modifications in many areas. They helped to compensate for the Honda engine deficit on the power track in Bahrain.
Force India also launched a major update. Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez's cars were equipped with an air duct through the front axle. This calms the eddies around the wheels and directs the flow better around the side pods. The trick is not entirely new. Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and HaasF1 also trap the air on the brake scoops and then guide it at a right anglethrough the wheel hub again.
Speaking of brake scoops: After Nico Rosberg almost had to give up the Australian race because of a foreign body in the brake cooling system, the wheel carrier on the Silver Arrow was redesigned for Bahrain. The openings were not only enlarged. The mechanics also sprayed them with Teflon spray for qualifying and the race so that scraps of rubber would not easily get stuck on the tires.