Williams will start F1 2022 “on the back foot” by skipping test

Williams has admitted that it will start Formula 1's 2022 testing "on the back foot" after electing not to produce a mule car for next month's post-season Abu Dhabi test.

Williams will start F1 2022 “on the back foot” by skipping test

As F1 gears up for the arrival of all-new cars and tyres next year, teams are set to have their first proper opportunity to evaluate new 18-inch wheels at the Yas Marina circuit in the days after the season finale.

As part of the annual two-day rookie test, teams will get to run with the new tyres on mule cars that have had their suspension adapted to deal with the larger wheels.

But Williams has elected against building a mule car just for the Abu Dhabi test, so looks set to miss the event completely.

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said: "Unfortunately we won't be doing anything. We won't be running there as we don't have a mule car and that stops us from running at the test.

"My understanding is if you don't have a mule car then you are not entitled to do the test. So we won't be there."

Robson explained that the decision to not build a mule car was made for financial reasons, with Williams not convinced that the benefit of running at the Abu Dhabi test was worth the expense of creating a bespoke car.

With the Abu Dhabi test the only opportunity for teams to experiment with the tyres prior to next year's first pre-season test, Robson is in no doubt that Williams will be behind in its knowledge compared to its rivals.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

However, he is convinced that there is plenty of time to be able to catch up before the 2022 campaign gets fully under way.

Asked how much of a disadvantage he felt not running in the Abu Dhabi test would be, Robson said: "We've not done any exercise to put numbers on it.

"We know that the mule car would have been beneficial but unfortunately, at the time we had to commit to that, we just didn't have the resource to do it.

"It was a decision that was made an awful long time ago and we can't do anything about it.

"What will we ultimately lose? We will start winter testing probably a little bit on the back foot I would think.

"But I would hope that if the car is running well, we should be able to catch up quickly.

"We would like be at the test but we are not. Ultimately though, we won't be far behind once the races start."

shares
comments

Related video

Williams: Altitude won't cause F1 engine reliability worries
Previous article

Williams: Altitude won't cause F1 engine reliability worries

Next article

Why 'young Montoya' O'Ward has an eye on F1

Why 'young Montoya' O'Ward has an eye on F1
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022