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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with Motorsport.com and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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20 Sep 2014


Williams have been quietly going about their business this season, the FW36 not smattered with updates at every GP as an attempt to increase performance.  I'd like to classify their development as economic, finding performance from their base setup at each GP, whilst smaller updates bridge the gap.  The team arrived in Singapore knowing that teams like Red Bull would take a demonstrable leap ahead of them owing to their more downforce laden chassis.  Finding performance therefore for Williams has come from the team trying different approaches with their brake ducts, which of course will not only affect temperatures directly but also change how the tyre phases on longer stints.
At the front of the car the team arrived with an enclosed caketin arrangement (above), whereas the team have run with an open arrangement prior to this (below), with just a crossover duct moving airflow from the scoop and blowing it out through the wheel. 

The new configuration is looking to retain more temperature for use by the brakes, whilst lowering the core temperature of the tyre.
At the rear of the car the caketin remains largely untouched but the team reverted/trialled a solution used earlier in the season with a duct (above, image AMuS) replaced by an airflow control winglet (below, image AMuS). 
This would reduce the amount of cooling done within the caketin, raising the core temperature of the tyre, in an attempt to leverage more mechanical performance from the tyre.  The problem with this however is that it will also raise the degradation level of the tyre on a longer stint.

As with all decisions of this nature it's a performance trade off and something that can also suit one driver more than the other.  Meanwhile the lap time delta between the two compounds taken to Singapore is larger than anticipated and so decisions of this nature then become even more critical for race pace.
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