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Williams keen not to copy other cars to achieve results

One of the more eye-catching parts of the Williams FW46 shows that they are willing to go their own way rather than copy others.

Sargeant Bahrain test
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To news overview © XPBimages

Williams Team Principal James Vowles believes the team should not copy other successful cars, as they look to improve their fortunes in Formula 1.

Many teams have taken inspiration from the dominant RB19 with their latest car designs including McLaren and Ferrari, while Red Bull themselves have taken a completely different route with the RB20.

Williams was the last team to unveil its car on track prior to pre-season testing, despite having switched focus to their design early on last year. The FW46 retains some features from their rivals, but Vowles is clear that this is not intentional from the design team.

"Some of the features you'll recognise from other successful cars, but to be clear, it's not a copy," Vowles explained to media, including RacingNews365.

"What I was clear with our [design] team is that everything should be through experiment, design, test and then put back in again. If that ends up iteratively moving towards something like the other cars, then fine.

"What we're not going to do is copy other cars and then try and understand the flow dynamics, so it's back down to more fundamentals. It's an evolution because it always is, it's very hard to step away from it too much."

Where Williams has taken its own lead

One of the more curious areas of the FW46 is at the rear suspension, which retains the pull rod design they had last year.

This makes them the only team along with Ferrari and Haas to stick with this design, while others have followed Red Bull's lead and gone for the push rod rear suspension to increase the area of the diffuser.

Mercedes has also opted for a push rod on the W15, which required some redesign of their gearbox. Aston Martin has followed suit but Williams, who also uses Mercedes gearboxes, has retained last year's setup to suit their current package.

There is also a cost cap benefit to re-using old parts, which enables them to free up more budget on other areas where the car needs more performance.

"The gearbox is supplied by Mercedes, and obviously I know it very well, it's a reliable gearbox and provides a good structure to work on," explained Vowles.

"But in terms of the significance to us, it's just a known entity. Fundamentally, the gearbox isn't the performance powerhouse that it used to be. It doesn't make a tremendous amount of difference."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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