Wurz offers insight into Williams' big fundamental issue

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As Williams' calamitous under-performance continued in Barcelona, team advisor Alex Wurz pointed to an underlining aerodynamic flaw impacting the team's FW41 and the confidence of its drivers.

Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin have been struggling since the Spanish Grand Prix weekend got underway, their car's issues leaving the pair lingering at the back of the grid after Saturday's qualifying session.

With the exception of Stroll's run into the points in Baku, a feat largely attributed to the venue rather than the car, Williams' state of affairs has been calamitous this season as it battles a massive weakness centered, according to Wurz, around the aerodynamics of the FW41's rear diffuser.

"We're losing downforce at the diffuser, at the floor,” Wurz told Austria's ORF.

"We had this problem a little bit last year, but it was only an annoyance. Now it's basically a stall.

"We're losing so much grip, and then the driver has no confidence at all in the car. That's our problem. Identifying the problem is only 10%. To correct and implement this is in fact the difficult task."

Wurz believes a glitch somewhere in the simulation and correlation software likely prevented Williams from detecting the problem at the outset. But the clear impact of the flaw left no doubt as to its fundamental nature.

"It is very good for the team that we are so extremely aware of this, that the lap times are falling so catastrophically, that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

"This crisis is an opportunity for us all to get to the same denominator and to have a culture in the team, for us all to be open with each other so that we can move forward.

"This is a chance for the team to build a healthy foundation."


However, Wurz doubted Williams can put in a fix anytime soon, an opinion corroborated by the team's technical chief Paddy Lowe.

"We’re very busy doing a lot of work to fix the issues," Lowe told the media in Barcelona.

"But none of those fixes are in place today, unfortunately. Which is why we were struggling so much at a circuit which is a really unforgiving track, I would say, for underlying car performance."

Lowe aims to bring the FW41's performance up to its intended level by the middle of the season.

"We’ve put in place a programme with the team, which we call a recovery programme, to bring back the performance of the car to a level that we intended it to operate," he said.

"That programme is timed up to the mid-season point."

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