The Williams FW32 marks the beginning of the team’s engine partnership with Cosworth, and the team’s second ‘clean sheet’ design in as many years.
A ban on refuelling and a new set of regulations forced Williams into a complete rethink, focusing its efforts around the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.
It featured a much flatter nose that that of its predecessor and in a season where shark-fins became commonplace, Williams opted for a subtler version until the arrival of the f-duct at the Chinese Grand Prix in April.
The f-duct was a device that allowed the driver to manually alter the airflow over the rear wing, reducing it when in a straight line, therefore reducing the car’s drag and giving him a speed advantage.
Its double diffuser, which was introduced the previous year and used to great effect by the Brawn team – less so by Williams despite the team having been one of just three teams to have spotted the loophole in the regulations that allowed for it and being one of the device’s early adopters and main exponents – was revised and improved.
The cars were driven by Williams debutants 11 times race winner Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenberg, reigning GP2 Series champion.
Having shone in winter testing, much was expected of the FW32. Many people thought that Williams had all the tools – team, chassis, engine and drivers – to become a genuine contender for podiums and maybe even the odd win.
But this hope failed to materialise and it would quickly become evident that Williams would spend the season fighting not for wins but for top ten finishes.
17 points finishes over the course of the 2010 Formula 1 season gave Williams 69 points and sixth in the World Constructors Championship.
The undoubted high point of the season was in Brazil, when Nico Hulkenberg scored himself an unlikely pole on a drying track.
Williams FW32 Specs
|Designed by:||Sam Michael, Ed Wood & Jon Tomlinson|
|Official entrant:||AT&T Williams|
|Drivers:||Nico Hulkenberg, Rubens Barrichello|
|Engine:||Cosworth normally aspirated 2.4 litre V8|
|Brakes:||Carbon Industrie carbon discs and pads & 6 piston AP calipers|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox with reverse gear Electro-hydraulically actuated seamless shift|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW31|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW33|
Williams FW32 Results