Williams already in trouble over exhaust design

Williams are currently seeking further clarification from the FIA with regard to a controversial design on the new car that was only launched on Tuesday.

Pastor Maldonado, Valtteri Bottas and Susie Wolff

Prior to the start of the second pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, Williams took the wraps off their FW35, but immediately walked into trouble.

Motor sport's governing body, the FIA, have suggested to Williams the design of the exit of their exhaust is illegal.

Their car, like that of Caterham who have also been warned, possesses vanes the FIA believe will illegally interfere with the aerodynamics of the car.

Technical director Mike Coughlan has expressed his view the vane is within the FIA regulations.

Coughlan said: "For me, the Caterham one is really not allowed but ours is okay.

"If you look at ours, it's not a single piece - it's two pieces.

"You're governed by total aperture size and (the need for it to be) a single aperture.

"Ours is a single aperture joined by a very small slot, so it's actually two pieces."

Williams and Caterham can continue to use the exhaust throughout the remaining seven days of testing prior to the season-opening grand prix in Australia on March 17.

However, if the device is used at Melbourne's Albert Park, a protest could be lodged with the stewards, and if found to definitely be in contravention of the rules, the teams' cars would be disqualified.

Understandably, both teams are now looking into the matter.

A Williams spokeswoman said: "The team spoke with the FIA this morning, which is when they gave us their view.

"The team are now seeking further clarification on this and a decision as to whether this design will be carried forward will be made before the first race."

Similarly, a Caterham spokesman said: "We are continuing to evaluate a range of options at the pre-season tests as per our normal program."

On his first day behind the wheel of the new car, Pastor Maldonado finished fifth quickest with a lap of one minute 23.773secs, 1.1secs adrift of fastest man on track in Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.



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