Friday August 24th, 2001
The Williams team will produce a modified chassis for Ralf Schumacher in Belgium next weekend as they continue development in a push for second place in the Drivers' Championship.
With the title race over, decided in favour of Ralf's older brother Michael in Hungary, a hotly contested battle is developing for second place, and Williams are determined to give the younger Schumacher the best chance of success.
Williams chief aerodynamicist Geoff Willis has been working frantically in the wind tunnel and although now mainly concentrating on next year's car, he and his team have still been able to come up with a major development at this late stage of the year.
"It is essentially a development of the current chassis," said Willis. "It is an in-season development with an eye to next year, but essentially a modification of the FW23."
Although Willis said that the modifications were not significant enough to require a new mould for the chassis, he said there will be some noticeable differences to the earlier version.
"It will look a little different externally but we are not going to call it the FW23B because it is not that big a development," said Willis. "The changes are aerodynamic and structural, the shape of the sidepods is a bit different and there is a little change to the cooling sizes."
But the development does not stop there. Willis admits that his team have turned most of the concentration to what will be the FW24, but says that that will not prevent any improvements to this year's car.
"Most of the tunnel work is on next year's car," he said. "But considering where we are in the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships, if we designed anything we could put on this year's car then we would push until the end of the year."
Published at 11:51:11 GMT