JANUARY 27, 1997
...but Williams delays
The FW19 will almost certainly be Adrian Newey's last car for Williams but it follows the philosophy of all the Williams-Renaults since the FW14 of 1991.
The most important factor in the design of the FW19 has been the incorporation of Renault Sport's all-new RS9 engine. This is a completely different engine to last year's RS8 - and, in fact, to all Renault V10 engines since Bernard Dudot's team built its prototype V10 in 1988. The two banks of cylinders on the new engine are angled at 71-degrees rather than the 67-degrees which Renault has always used. The wider v-angle has meant that the Renault Sport design office was able to create an engine which was 27mm lower than the RS8 with the center of gravity dropping 14mm. The change has also meant that 11kgs has been saved in weight on the engine alone - an 8% saving from last year. In F1 terms these are dramatic figures and testing of the new engine in a modified FW18B during the recent weeks has shown that the new engine is reliable and seems to be more powerful than previously. According to Dudot the power curve is also a lot smoother.
The engine changes have given the Williams team's 20 design engineers the opportunity to introduce some major changes at the rear end of the car to lower the center of gravity of the car. The low crankshaft of the Renault has meant that the transmission of the Williams has also been lowered and made more compact and this has allowed the team's aerodynamicists to produce a much tidier flow of air over the rear of the car.
The team has done a lot of work on the engine air intake in an effort to win back horsepower lost because the air going into the engine was being disrupted by the driver's helmet. The FW19's airbox will be visibly different to the FW18.