Williams said ’no’ to 2024 Mercedes suspension

"We didn’t copy the car, just its principles"


26 February 2024 - 08:48
Williams said 'no' to (...)

James Vowles has admitted Williams opted against running the full 2024 specification of partner team Mercedes’ rear suspension layout this year.

Auto Motor und Sport believes a main reason for the decision was because Mercedes only had the capacity to supply its new push-rod suspension to one customer - Aston Martin.

But Williams boss Vowles explains that there was actually a technical reason.

"I had to weigh up how much laptime we gain with the new suspension compared to quickly deciding to keep the old one and being able to start developing the car four months earlier," he said.

However, Williams ultimately emerged with a very different car for 2024 - with a strong resemblance to the concept of last year’s ultra-dominant Red Bull.

"We didn’t copy the car, just its principles," said Vowles.

But in the end, Red Bull completely changed direction for 2024, developing a version of the 2022-2023 Mercedes concept that failed and was scrapped.

"Red Bull had already ticked off what everyone else is still looking for," Vowles said. "They were able to look at the new project all last year, and they have such good simulation tools that they could really rely on it."

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