Williams has thrown a curveball in the Formula 1 paddock with its secretive approach to the 2024 season car. While they staged a ‘launch’ in New York, it was quickly revealed that the spectacle was merely the 2023 car donning the new livery for 2024. This move has set the F1 world abuzz, particularly with Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport suggesting that the heart of the mystery lies in the car’s rear suspension.
James Vowles, the head of the Williams team, shed light on the intensive efforts behind the scenes, stating, “We have been working on the new car since March,” pinpointing the super-early commencement of their ambitious project for the 2024 season. The team’s last update to the 2023 car happened last July at Silverstone.
The intrigue deepens as Michael Schmidt, a correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, reveals that Williams’ aerodynamicists are charting a novel course with a completely revamped concept for 2024. This sentiment is echoed by Alex Albon, who notes, “The new car feels completely different in the simulator,” hinting at the radical changes underpinning the new design.
Vowles, embracing the weight of this pivotal shift, acknowledges the gamble involved. “If we fail, I’ll take that on,” he asserts, showcasing his commitment to breaking from the status quo that has shadowed the team for the last decade. He argues that without venturing onto a new path, stagnation is inevitable.
The crux of Williams’ revolutionary strategy may revolve around a transition from pullrod to a Red Bull-inspired pushrod rear suspension. Vowles plays his cards close to his chest, stating, “We don’t want to reveal what we’re doing at the back yet.” This secrecy is further compounded by hints that Mercedes, Williams’ engine provider, might also be in on this closely guarded secret.