Williams became the first team to run a 2009-specification aero package yesterday when they allowed Jonathan Kennard to shakedown a modified FW30 at Kemble Airfield. The Williams featured a lower and larger front wing, a clean body and the skinny but higher rear wing. The reason for the significant changes to the cars stems from the new rules to be implemented from next season onwards, which will see the car’s aerodynamics becoming more simplified in an effort to improve overtaking.
Williams became the first team to publicly run a 2009-spec. rear wing earlier in the season at a test in Barcelona. It is expected that many teams will be testing new parts at the upcoming test in Spain later this month. The test at Kemble was just a shakedown and allowed Kennard to try out a Formula One car for the very first time. Although limited to straight runs, the idea of a shakedown is to simply check all the systems are working as they should do.
It has been a good day today and great to be able to drive the new-spec Formula One car for the first time. I would like to extend my thanks to Sir Frank (Williams) and the team for the opportunity. I enjoyed working through the test programme and assisting the team with their preparations for the 2009 season. Jonathan Kennard.
The jury is still out on whether or not the 2009 cars will be as pretty as recent models, as is the jury for whether or not they will actually prove to help overtaking in Formula One. 2008 saw some some great racing, and if wasn’t for the constant interruptions of the stewards at times when perhaps it wasn’t necessary, we would have seen some awesome racing (Italy springs to mind). However, we really won’t know about any improvements to the racing until the Australian Grand Prix commences in 135 days.