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Williams: Last year’s car could be faster

Mar 26, 2013, 11:17 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

The seriousness of Williams’ poor start to 2013 has been highlighted by the team’s technical director, who says they could revert to some parts from last year’s car.

Williams are one of the last teams to add a ‘Coanda effect’ exhaust to their car, which was widely used by other teams last year. The layout uses a curved exhaust exit to direct gasses towards the diffuser, creating more downforce.

But technical director Mike Coughlan admitted the team are struggling with the design and may revert to the Coanda-free version seen on last year’s FW34:

“It’s understanding Coanda,” he said, “it’s grip and we need to go away and get a more consistent platform for the driver.”

“We’ll be in a position quite soon where if we don’t nail it we’ll use Friday’s as test sessions. We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster.

“I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars. We’ll go back on Tuesday and have a complete rethink and see if we have enough time to change things before China.”

Williams have not scored in the opening races of 2013 and Pastor Maldonado is yet to score a finish.

But rookie Valtteri Bottas gave the team some cause for optimism in Malaysia. Having fallen to last place on the first lap he recovered to finish 11th, less than one-and-a-half seconds outside of the points.

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