Lance Stroll was slow out the box in his debut season, but when he found his feet after his first points in the sport he soon proved he was able to deliver results and beat Felipe Massa. So why does the team believe he can have a “phenomenal” second season?
Williams expects “phenomenal” season from Stroll
Williams believed that Lance Stroll could have a “phenomenal” second season. The Canadian made his Formula One debut last season, despite a difficult start he managed to secure a podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Speaking about what he expects from Stroll this season, chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says he expects he will approach his second season completely differently. He told ESPN “He came in very young, 18 years old, a very new environment, new challenge.”
“It’s a huge amount of information to manage and use in the intense environment of Formula One racing. So I think at his second season he’ll be so much better off and a year older”
When asked if he thinks people expected too much from Stroll in his first season, Lowe said: “Yeah, I agree, and people do keep forgetting how young Lance is. I think we’ve got all the hope and the promise he can have a phenomenal second year and keep building a terrific career in Formula One.”
Lowe also pointed out that Stroll gained more positions on the opening lap than his rivals in 2017. He added that one of the less talked about things was Stroll’s first lap performances and he was really strong in that area all season.
Every season the teams try to look for gains naturally. According to Paddy Lowe, this year team will be focusing their aims on the bargeboards. But why could this be the area of gain this year?
Bargeboards to become area of gain – Lowe
Williams’s chief technical officer Paddy Lowe believes that bargeboards will be the area of the 2018 Formula One cars which offer the most gains this season.
This week, teams have begun unveiling their new designs and an area of the car, which has stood out, has been the bargeboard and sidepod area, with teams getting very aggressive with their concepts in the second year of the current aerodynamic rules.
Williams last week revealed computer images of its car before launching it last Thursday. Lowe says that the bargeboard area of the car has the potential for immense gains in downforce. He told Autosport “Is we know in the 2017 regulations, there was new volume and new freedom in the bargeboard area,” he said.
“We saw through 2017 an explosion of new devices in that space, and that process has continued yet further. When you see our car close up, you will see that we have developed the car in that area even more.”
“I will be expecting to see the same on our competition because it is the biggest area of opportunity still not fully exploited with these regulations that came in last year.”
This year the sidepods have become a more important area for the teams to develop, following the limiting of areas like the T-wing and exhaust blowing of the monkey seat have now been limited. The reason why it has been limited is because there was a degree of exhaust blowing.
McLaren has switched engine suppliers this season, the team will be hoping the change to Renault will see them move forward. But has it set its sights too high?
McLaren plan “substantial” mileage and upgrades
McLaren is planning a “substantial” upgrade to its 2018 car the MCL32 for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. The team are set to launch their new car on Friday.
The car which will have a Renault engine is also believed to have a bold new livery which the teams believe will appeal to fans. while there are big changes taking place at the team, its aero chief Peter Prodromou says that the car will not be radically different from last year.
The team are making a big effort into bringing new parts for the first race in Melbourne at the end of March. Explaining the design to Motorsport.com, Prodromou said “We have tried to develop the car as we have done for the last three years. We’ve tried to develop it in an evolutionary fashion.”
“I think you can expect to see something quite similar conceptually for launch – and then in truth we have spent the last two to three months focusing on a race one upgrade.”
“That is where the major focus has been and still is – to try to deliver a decent upgrade both aerodynamically and mechanically and try to put our best foot forward for Melbourne,” Prodromou says McLaren are expecting the car to perform similarly to the way t was at the end of 2017.
McLaren has set their eye on mileage during testing following the nightmare they had with Honda last year. While the team are aware that nothing is guaranteed, the team says it targeting two thousand kilometres per test.
Engineering director Matt Morris said: “500km per day is a plan. That is on the run plan.”
Asked about where he felt the team was compared to last year, he said “It is always nice to be a little bit further ahead, wherever you are “In terms of all the sign off of the car.”
“Running it [the gearbox] on the back of a Renault engine, we should be going into winter testing in as good a state as we can be.”
Argentina last held a race in 1998. Twenty years since the last race the country has set its sights on a return as soon as next year, can it be done?
Argentina in talks about 2019 return
The Autodromo Juna y Oscar Galvez is in talks with Liberty Media about possibly returning to Formula One as early as 2019. The circuit near Buenos Aires last held the Argentine Grand Prix in 1998.
The race was one of the first non-European or North American races to become part of the championship and went on to host twenty races. However, it hit financial difficulties, but a change in government has made a return possible.
Arturo Rubinstein, president of investment firm Blue Capital, which organises the Formula E race in the city, says the government has as committed £21.5 million. The circuit will require upgrades to meet the current safety standards
Rubinstein told The Independent “The government of the city of Buenos Aires has committed to fund the required works in order to get a further upgrade of the circuit according to F1 and FIA´s standards.”
“The works to repair and improve the circuit will start as soon as we sign the agreement to hold the race in Buenos Aires for a five-year term and the estimated amount is in the range of $30m.”
Argentina was priced out of the sport by emerging markets in 1990’s but feels it can emulate this success Mexico had when it returned in 2015, which has fuelled the interest of the country’s president Mauricio Macri and fans.
Manufacturers want an advantage over there customers, however this week the FIA have moved to stop them taking an advantage. But, how will the directive work?
FIA calls for all customer teams to have parity
The sports governing body the FIA has moved to remove the doubts of customer teams having engine performance parity with their works counterparts.
The FIA has issued a new technical directive saying that all engines which they produce must be capable of being operated in the same way.
The rules are designed to ensure that all of the power units are physically identical, but customers teams have been suspicious that works teams may be able to use modes – in qualifying for example – that their customers might not have access to.
In a new directive the FIA noted that the purpose of Appendix 4 and the dossier system “is to ensure that all power units supplied by one manufacturer are identical in all respects, we have good reason to believe that this may not be the case.
“Whilst the dossiers for each team may be identical it would appear that some are being operated in a different way to others being supplied by the same manufacturer.
“It is, therefore, our view that all power units supplied by one manufacturer should be identical, not only in terms of the dossier for each team being the same, but we also feel they should be operated in an identical way.
It also says it expects customers are running power units as the works teams.
And that’s all from this edition of Reporters, goodbye