|Designer(s)||Sam Michael (Technical Director)|
|Chassis||Carbon-aramid and honeycomb composite monocoque.|
|Suspension (front)||Carbon fibre double wishbone with toelink and pushrod operated torsion springs.|
|Suspension (rear)||Double wishbone with pushrod and rocker operated torsion springs.|
|Wheelbase||3,100 mm (122.0 in)|
|Engine||Toyota RVX-08 2,400 cc (146.5 cu in) 90° V8, naturally aspirated, mid-mounted.|
|Transmission||Williams F1 seven-speed, seamless shift, sequential, semi-automatic.|
|Weight||605 kg (1,334 lb) (inc. driver and ballast.)|
|Notable entrants||AT&T Williams|
|Notable drivers||7. Nico Rosberg
8. Kazuki Nakajima
|Debut||2008 Australian Grand Prix|
The Williams FW30 is a Formula One racing car, designed by WilliamsF1 and introduced at the start of the 2008 Formula One season. The car is largely an evolution of the previous, 2007-season, Williams model: the FW29. As with its predecessor, the FW30 is powered by engines manufactured by Toyota. The FW30 was unveiled to the public on 21 January 2008 at the Circuit de Valencia, Spain, and made its race debut at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix in the hands of 2008 Williams drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima.
In comparison to the preceding Williams FW29 car, Williams Technical Director Sam Michael described the aim of the FW30's construction as being "refining our package and weight distribution" rather than being a radical redesign. Although not confirmed by Williams, weight distribution was likely moved forward somewhat, to better utilise the traction characteristics of the single-supply Bridgestone tyres.
Chassis and suspension
In common with all contemporary Formula One designs, the FW30's basic architecture is built around a carbon fibre, aramid and honeycomb composite material monocoque. The design carries over the FW29's zero keel, double wishbone suspension arrangement, along with the twin-pillar rear wing. The FW30's front wing is one area in which the design of the FW29 was not followed. In place of the older car's two-element wing a three-element design was introduced, similar to that used on the 2007 McLaren MP4-22. As with the McLaren design the Williams wing's upper element features a central section that is raised up and passes over the tip of the car's, slightly lower, nose cone. However, unlike the McLaren, the FW30's front wing is suspended from the nose cone using the forward element.
Around the drivers, in accordance with new FIA regulations, the cockpit sides are significantly raised in comparison to previous years. The exhaust chimneys were altered from the FW29's side-exit design, to a slimmer, vertical-exit one. Other, less obvious, chassis alterations include an increase in the number of cooling louvres in the upper surfaces of the side pods, made in response to a change in the orientation of the main radiators within the pods, and an increase in the backward sweep of the roll bar-mounted mid wing.
Aerodynamic development during the 2008 season
During the season various additions and modifications were made to the FW30's aerodynamic appendages. The design of the front wing bridge was tweaked slightly from the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix onward. The bridge element gained two small airflow "fences" that allowed the Williams aerodynamic team to extend the depth of the wing profile. This resulted in an increase in the aerodynamic downforce generated by the wing, without a concomitant increase in drag. Later in the season, prior to the 2008 German Grand Prix, Williams also altered the lower front wing elements, offering their drivers a choice of drag-reducing flap tweaks to the rearmost element. The bumps expected at the new Marina Bay Street Circuit, used for the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, prompted Williams to tweak the design of the front wing yet again. On this occasion the central "spoon profile" was given a more rounded aspect, in place of the rather more squared-off design used to this point. The change in profile reduced downforce slightly, but resulted in the FW30 being significantly less sensitive to the changes in ride height expected as the cars negotiated the bumpy surface. For the final race of the season, the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, Williams again tweaked the profile of the main and middle elements of the front wing. Small curved steps were added to the outer extremities of these elements to increase the speed of airflow through the wing tip, increasing downforce without increasing drag.
Small sidepod winglets were significantly altered prior to the 2008 French Grand Prix, providing twin turning vanes to better control airflow over the rear of the car. At the Canadian Grand Prix tweaks were also made to the flip-up flaps in front of the rear wheels, to reduce drag. For the Italian Grand Prix, at the low-downforce Monza circuit, Williams tweaked the design of the FW30's bodywork, and front and rear wings. Sporting only a single element, with its outer edges turned upward, the rear wing was designed to reduce drag on Monza's long, fast straights, while still providing sufficient downforce during cornering. Final adjustments were made to the FW30's rear aerodynamics prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix. Here, the small winglets in front of the rear wheels were augmented by the addition of a small flap beneath their main elements, in order to better deflect airflow around the wheels and reduce the aerodynamic disruption caused by the wheels' rotation.
For the Monaco Grand Prix, a race that traditionally demands a high-downforce set-up, Williams experimented with a "shark fin" engine cover, similar to that run by Renault and Red Bull. A modification was made to the front brakes' cooling ducting specifically for the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, enlarging them to better cope with high brake loads commonly experienced when racing on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Engine and transmission
For the first time since the 2005 Formula One season Williams maintained continuity with their engine supplier. The FW30 is powered by Toyota's RVX-08 engine, which conforms to FIA 2,400 cc (146.5 cu in) V8 regulations. One major change within the engine package is due to the enforcement of a standardised, FIA-approved ECU, manufactured by McLaren Electronic Systems and distributed under the Microsoft brand. This was introduced to eliminate traction control and engine-assisted braking. Drive is via Williams's own seven-speed, semi-automatic transmission, with an electro-hydraulically activated, seamless shift mechanism.
Launch and pre-season testing
The Williams FW30 was unveiled to the public at an FIA test session at the Circuit de Valencia, Spain, on 21 January 2008. There was no official, ceremonial launch event. In early pre-season testing the cars ran in a number of provisional liveries that marked, variously, the names of all those employed by Williams during the development of the FW30, the 85 sponsors who have supported Williams since the formation of Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1978, and the team's 30th season in Formula One racing.
In the opening race of the season, it was a solid start for the Williams team to celebrate its 30 years in Formula One as Nico Rosberg finally took his first podium finish while Nakajima scored his first points in Formula One in just his 2nd race for Williams. However, the remaining races saw the team slipping backwards and often struggling to score points. But the new Singapore Grand Prix saw Rosberg finish in a shock second place in front title contender of Lewis Hamilton. Williams were looking set to clinch their first victory since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix but Rosberg just could not overtake another shock podium finisher and winner Fernando Alonso. Thus, a first victory for Rosberg was denied but still it was his best finish in Formula One until the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix where he finished first after starting from pole position. The team eventually finished the season with 26 points, convincingly beaten by the Toyota F1 team.
Formula One World Championship results
|2008||AT&T Williams||Toyota RVX-08 V8||B||AUS||MAL||BHR||ESP||TUR||MON||CAN||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||EUR||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||CHN||BRA||26||8th|
- "FW30 Technical Specification". WilliamsF1.com. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- Noble, J (2008-01-21). "Williams: new car a good step forward". Autosport. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- Scarborough, C (2008-01-21). "Technical analysis of the Williams FW30". Autosport. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- "2008 season changes". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- "Williams FW30 - revised front bridge wing". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- "Williams FW30 - front-wing development". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Williams FW30 - front-wing development". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- "Williams FW30 - front-wing development". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "Williams FW30 - front sidepod winglets". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Williams FW30 - additional rear flip-ups". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Italy preview quotes: Williams". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Williams FW30 - Monza-specific rear wing". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Williams FW30 - rear double winglets development". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "Williams FW30 - long shark-fin engine cover". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Williams FW30 - enlarged brake ducts". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "More new cars in Spain". GrandPrix.com. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- Race results
- "Summary of Results: 2008". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Williams FW30.|
- Official studio photos of the Williams FW30. Formula1.com