Williams alters FW43B bargeboards to reduce wind issues

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Williams has changed the bargeboard design on its FW43B to help reduce the car's sensitivity to strong winds, an issue that was less prevalent on the street circuits of Monaco and Baku.

During pre-season testing Bahrain earlier this year, Williams identified strong crosswinds as an issue that could unsettle its car at high speed.

Dave Robson, Williams' head of vehicle performance, says the team implemented a few changes in the bargeboard area of its 2021 car ahead of Baku, a typically windy track.

However, the circuit's relatively sheltered nature mitigated the effects of the wind, but that won't be the case this week at Paul Ricard and at other upcoming venues.

"I think the sheltering does help, because you end up with more of a Monaco-style tunnelling of the air rather than the big crosswind gusts that you get at Silverstone, for example," Robson explained, quoted by Motorsport.com.

"I guess we’ll find out more at Paul Ricard, where it will likely be windy up there.

"There are some changes on George’s car [in Baku], around the bargeboard area, which is designed to hopefully improve that side of the car.

"But to be honest, we weren’t really able to evaluate how well it was working in that regard on Friday. So, I think the big test will be the next three or four events I guess."

Robson also addressed the engine change in Baku on George Russell's car after the Briton suffered an issue in the final free practice session.

Russell reverted to a previous specification in qualifying but the roll-back did not appear to impact his performance, with the Williams charger once again making it through to Q2.

"You’re allowed to do so little with the power units, it’s essentially just a new version of the same thing, more or less," said Robson.

"The degradation on these power units is impressively small these days. It’s not like the old days where there was clear degradation.

"It would have cost him a little bit, just by virtue of being a bit older. But actually, not too much to be honest - not enough to have made any places, that’s for sure."

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