Formula 1 - Williams undecided on new sidepods

Williams will run back-to-back tests of its new sidepod design during Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix before it commits to racing it.

AutoSport

The Grove-based outfit ran with the new sidepod/exhaust concept during the final Barcelona test, earlier this month.

Tech blog: No final-day upgrade bonanza

And although the latest design has delivered a significant step forward in pace, the team is not yet convinced about its impact on the car in warmer temperatures.

Technical director Mike Coughlan said that Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado would try out the different versions, which should give the team a better understanding of what it can race with in Albert Park.

"We will run the two cars differently tomorrow morning," said Coughlan, when asked by AUTOSPORT about the team's plans for free practice.

"The weather being cooler [than expected] will help us because we try and design a car that will run up into 40Cs - because Bahrain can be that hot.

"But you lose significant performance the higher temperature that you are able to run to. Everyone tries to minimise the effect of opening up bodywork. We move much more into a comfortable zone with temperatures in the low 30s."

Bottas said that the plan to split the strategy with Maldonado would not prove to be a distraction for the team.

"It's a good chance for us to try the different packages in the same conditions, with the same tyre, and at the same time on the track.

"That's something we couldn't do in testing because once you change something, it takes time and the wind direction can change. It will be good for us to get a bit more understanding of the packages."

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