Full throttle “magic circuit” race is the ultimate test for car and driver
Williams Martini Racing are heading to the world’s fastest Formula One circuit for the fourteenth leg of the 2016 Championship. Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix, with its long straights and fast corners, records the highest average speed of any Formula One Circuit with drivers spending 75% of the lap at full throttle.
Drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will be testing their cars to the limit in this challenging and highly charged race. The Italian GP also marks the last of the European races before the cars head off on their seven-race round the world trip, ending in Dubai in November.
As one of the longest running events on the Formula One calendar, the Italian GP is rich in racing history. Since the inaugural championship race in 1950, all but one Italian GP has been held at the world famous Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, which is lovingly known by Italian fans as the “La Pista Magica” (the magic circuit).
Williams Martini Racing will be looking to build on the magic and success of the 2015 and 2014 Italian GPs in which Felipe Massa achieved two consecutive podiums, closely followed by teammate Valtteri Bottas who was fourth on both occasions.
As an Official Partner of Williams Martini Racing, PPG has been supplying paint finishes for the team’s cars and support vehicles since 2003. This long-term partnership has seen PPG develop technologically advanced and innovative paint systems designed to reduce weight, lower costs and provide the highest possible definition finish for all-important identification on the track.
The weight of the Williams Mercedes FW38 racecar is a key factor in determining lap times. PPG’s compact coating system enables the team to reduce the weight that is added during the paint process by 48%.
Recent regulation changes affect the overall weight of the FW38. For example, to improve engine noise this season all Formula One cars must use separate exhaust pipes for the turbine and wastegate, rather than the single exhaust used in 2015:
“Engine exhaust systems must have only a single turbine tailpipe exit and either one or two tailpipe exits which must all be rearward facing and through which all exhaust gases must pass,” Article 5.8.2 of the FIA Technical Regulations.
With subtle changes like these potentially adding extra weight to the car, even the smallest weight savings, such as those provided by PPG’s coating system, can contribute towards faster lap times.
One area in which Williams Martini Racing has increased its speed this season is the pit-lane. In Baku this year, the team recorded the fastest pit stop ever in 1.89 seconds:
“A pit-stop is one of the most strategically important elements of any race weekend, be it in qualifying or the race. The Williams mechanics have turned pit-stop precision into a fine art in 2016, winning the award for fastest pit stop in ten out of twelve GPs so far this season. Pit stops are possibly the most visual evidence of why Formula One racing is a team sport, and by working closely together as a team and with our partners, this has helped us earn the reputation as the fastest pit crew in the Paddock,” says Becky Hampton, Junior Partner Manager at Williams Martini Racing.
PPG wish all at Williams Martini Racing the best of luck for the Italian Grand Prix.
For the latest news from Williams Martini Racing visit www.williamsf1.com
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