Williams to race shorter nose FW38 in early 2016
Williams looks set to unveil a new nose for its 2016 car within the first two or three races of the Formula 1 season.
The Grove team was a pioneer of the short-nose concept that is now widespread up and down pitlane.
Many were therefore surprised when Williams’ 2016 car did not feature an even shorter version than its predecessor when launched ahead of the winter season.
Paddock rumours at the Barcelona tests, however, hinted that a shorter nose is coming either for Melbourne, Bahrain or China.
Technical boss Pat Symonds is coy, suggesting “only little things” are coming for the FW38 in Australia. But it is rumoured that despite failing a recent crash test, the short nose will be crash-tested again next week.
Auto Motor und Sport claims it is five centimetres shorter than the current version, which according to Symonds “was already very difficult to get through the crash test”.
Williams had a good penultimate day of winter testing on Thursday, only trailing the pace of Ferrari’s flying Kimi Raikkonen.
The paddock wisdom is that the team has closed to gap to Mercedes by a few tenths, as Felipe Massa told the Brazilian press: “I’m definitely happier this week than I was last week.
“I can say that Mercedes is at the front, Ferrari as well but then there are so many teams all together,” he told Globo Esporte. “It will not be easy for us to do better than third place again,” Massa acknowledged.