Williams could fall foul of new Singapore TD, but not with the FW45’s wings

Michelle Foster
Williams FW45 front wings on display in the pit lane at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Williams confident TD018 won't 'affects us very much'

Taking steps to stamp out flexi wings as of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Dave Robson doesn’t believe the FIA’s new technical directive will be a “big deal” for Williams.

With flexible bodywork yielding big time gains for the Formula 1 teams, it has been reported that some unnamed teams have been using trickery to flex their car’s wings while still passing the FIA’s load-bearing tests.

This is illegal as Article 3.2.2 of the Technical Regulations states that “all aerodynamic components or bodywork influencing the car’s aerodynamic performance must be rigidly secured and immobile with respect to their frame of reference.”

Williams hope new TD ‘will slow some people down’

That has led to the FIA issuing a new Technical Directive, TD018, that’s aimed at stamping out bodywork flexibility.

It’s not yet known which teams could be impacted with rivals hoping Red Bull could be one of those paying a price, although Toto Wolff does “not think it will be the case“.

But with the potential impact of the rule change currently unknown, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance Robson has joined the list of those denying their wings could fall foul of the new TD.

He did, however, reveal the team needs to do a “little bit” with the FW45’s floor.

“Good question,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com when asked if the clampdown could lead to a shake-up of the grid. “I genuinely don’t know.

“I think the way the TDs are written, they’re clearly aimed at quite specific things that the FIA have seen so they must be affecting some people.

“I think on the whole we don’t think it affects us very much, little bit we need to do on our floors, but think the wing side of things is not a big deal.

“So yeah, hopefully, it will slow some people down.”

Robson did not elaborate on the changes Williams have to make to ensure their floor is a little less flexible.

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Williams head to Singapore with Alex Albon concerned they’re about to go through a dry spell when it comes to top-ten results.

The Thai-British driver has scored 21 points this season to single-handedly put Williams P7 in the Constructors’ Championship, but he fears that could be it until the Las Vegas race in late October.

“I mean the next few races we’re not really going to stand a chance until Vegas,” he said after his P7 in Italy. “Not to say that we’re going to take our foot off the pedal but a good points finish here was what we needed.”

Read next: Red Bull and Ferrari discuss flexi wing concerns ahead of Singapore clampdown