Williams hope that new F1 Singapore GP layout will “play slightly more to the strengths” of FW45

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The top category of motorsport travels to the Asian continent for round number 16 of the 2023 season. Drivers and teams will have to face the high temperatures and humidity of Singapore, in addition to the already well-known Marina Bay Street Circuit. We come from a week of rest after the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, where Max Verstappen achieved his twelfth victory of the season and his tenth in a row. We will talk about a team that is also on a streak of good results and with a lot of confidence in its car, Williams.

The British team has had a run of two races with excellent results. Zandvoort was the circuit where both drivers had a very good qualifying session, as they both managed to advance to Q3. However, the American, Logan Sargeant, had a crash in that part of the session, leaving him with a bittersweet feeling. For his part, Alex Albon managed to finish in P8 after a race full of emotions and changing weather conditions.

Albon then achieved a P7 at Monza last time out. Williams arrives with great expectations in Singapore. Ahead of the event, they have confirmed that it is possible that the modifications that have been made to the street circuit are suitable for their car.

Photo Credit: Williams Racing

We have to remember that the chicane of turns 16 and 17 has been eliminated and also turns 18 and 19, which were recognized because they passed under a fan grandstand in sector 3. This will mean that there will be a straight that goes from Turn 15 and on to the previous Turn 20, which would now be Turn 16. According to Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, the fact that the Marina Bay Street Circuit has been reduced from 23 turns to 19 will be beneficial for their FW45.

As we had already reported in Pit Debrief, the Singapore Grand Prix will be the first race in which a new technical directive from the FIA will come into force, to further control the issue of flexible wings, so the teams will have to be extremely careful with their car this weekend. For its part, Williams has confirmed that this is not a problem for the team and will be no more of a problem than a few adjustments to the car’s floor and nothing more.

“I think it probably will [be a test of progress], but obviously the changing circuit, changing layout probably helps us, because four corners have been taken away. That’s probably helpful,” Dave Robson commented in a tech session at the Italian Grand Prix. “But I think more seriously, that will change the nature of that circuit quite a lot, not so much in terms of the downforce level I don’t think, but in terms of braking it’s always difficult there.

“The energy the brakes have to deal with, the rear tyre degradation is always really difficult by the time you get to the last sector. So to have those corners taken away from that part of the circuit, I think does change the characteristic of the circuit quite a lot, for everyone obviously.”

“Hopefully that plays slightly more to the strength of this car.

“I think the way TDs [technical directives] are written, they’re clearly aimed at quite specific thing 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. A little bit to do on our floors, but I think the wing side of things, not a big deal.

“Hopefully it will slow some people down.”