Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Stroll wary of spare parts shortage after early end to first day

2017 F1 season

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Lance Stroll said he will change his approach when he gets back in the Williams tomorrow after a spin ended his running early today.

The newcomer spun off on his 12th lap in the car today and sustained front wing damage. With no replacement available Williams have ceased their running for today.

“Yeah now the spare parts situation is there for sure I think that’s kind of changed the approach a bit,” said Stroll. “But what happened happened.”

Stroll will be back in the FW40 once a replacement part is ready. “Tomorrow’s a new day,” he continued, “just going to put it behind us and keep going.”

“We’re all positive still about everything and it’s still early days. No reason to panic and change anything.”

Stroll said low grip levels on the circuit contributed to his accident. “It was the second run, just getting to grips with the car, spun at low grip and I just lost the car.”

“It went through the gravel, little spin, drove back to the garage. We broke a little winglet on the front wing and we only have one so that’s a bit unfortunate.”

Despite the setback, Stroll said the incident hasn’t affected his confidence.

“Sometimes these things happen but no, not a dent in the confidence,” he said. “I was actually really confident, really in with the car the few laps I did. I’m looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow and still plenty of running ahead so.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Stroll wary of spare parts shortage after early end to first day”

    1. Not a great way to start your F1 career but then Hamilton trashed the (rear?) wing of his McLaren in his first test so not exactly an indicator of how things will go.

      1. exactly. as far as I can see he’s pushing the car to the limit at its current capability

    2. Just have your dad pump more money into them, they’ll have all the parts you need.

      1. Not about money… Prototype parts do not appear in an instant or pop out of a makerbot… $ can’t buy time.

    3. His helmet looks like one of Bottas’ old spares.

      1. I quite like his black-martini livered lid tbh. Bottas has black and white now but used to have blue-white colors no?

    4. Those small wings are beyond ugly.

    5. So it seems there is a variation in the ability to grip the road. I guess the question is how predictable is that variation.

    6. You know what they say, “another day, another five million dollars.”

    7. Why do Williams send a rookie out on his first test without having a spare front wing available? Especially during the first days of testing of totally new cars, frontwings is some of the first spares they need.

      1. @palle it’s very surprising isn’t it. Although I imagine they probably hadn’t manufactured another one in time. Having said that, one would expect them to plan ahead by at least having some alternative wing even if it’s not the race spec one.

      2. @palle I’m also surprised by that. Not about sending the rookie to test, because he needs it, but having no spare front wing… seems a bit weird for a team like Williams.

      3. Luis Miguel Martínez
        28th February 2017, 20:36

        I think it was last year that one of the Red Bull drivers had and accident and damaged the front wing, and they didn’t have any spares either. I don’t know why they don’t bring spares, specially considering that in testing you want to complete as many laps possible in a day.

      4. @palle @strontium @fer-no65 Teams aren’t always able to have enough spares ready the first time they build a new car. Some of these cars were only fully assembled for the first time within 24 hours of being launched. And of course the big difference this year is that they can’t just bolt last year’s wing on.

        Williams aren’t the only team in this situation – Renault were also delayed waiting for new parts today (and then struggling to make them fit):

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2017/02/28/palmer-astonished-by-mercedes-and-ferraris-mileage/

        1. @keithcollantine – I’m fully aware of their situation with no left over spares from last year, but being a Master of Science and a project manager/Director – albeit working with maritime systems mostly – I still consider a front wing as a critical spare You need to bring for the first test, it can’t be a big surprise. Better project management and planning would have kept them clear of this situation. What is the risk of a rookie pilot vs. an experienced damaging the front wing during the first week of testing based on experience?
          Other parts have other probabilities of bad fit or defects or being damaged and You have to do Your math and homework on each part and of course You can’t be prepared for anything, but a front wing vs a rookie @ first day of testing?

          1. @palle I can understand not having two prototype wings and I don’t think simply ‘better project planning’ as you say applies here.

            However, they could/should have a made a spare of an earlier frontwing spec just for these kind of situations. They can’t afford to lose the running and miss all the data on everything else (new tyres, general airflow analysis and cfd/windtunnel correlation figures etc).

          2. F1 is a bit unique with regard to an engineering project in that it is really competition based, so all teams are competing with each other and all basically have a drop dead date that they all need to produce the best car they can. Therefore development time, and increasing that, is crucial for a good design.

            F1 teams will therefore likely plan to manufacture and assembly final parts very close to the drop dead date, and only make multiples of parts that are more likely to fail or be damaged. Historically, front wing changes in testing are not frequent, so a risk assessment would have concluded that risk of front wing replacement would be low.

            Manufacturing an additional front wing (of the same specification as the one damaged) would have also taken likely 1 – 1.5 weeks (maybe even longer) to manufacture and assemble given the intricate designs they are using these days and the sheer number of different parts. While the are likely to be manufacturing and assembling different parts simultaneously, making time to develop an additional front wing means another part is likely delayed, which pushes everything back a bit. This in turns reduces development time as manufacturing will then need to start earlier.

            There is also a resourcing aspect, whereby the team may not have the full facilities (enough autoclaves/workshop space/staff) to enable the build of an additional front wing without effecting the development plan.

            There is also the fact that as this is testing, the design of the front wing can be updated to a new and different spec, so building a spare may be seen as wasteful if the risk of needing a spare is low. Building a spare may also take time away from manufacturing the new spec wing to be introduced in testing at a later date.

            As for driver performance, while Stroll is a rookie this year, this does not exceptionally heighten the risk of an incident that will damage the front wing. Some other drivers have had spins in the last 2 days, with Magnussen also damaging the Haas front wing on Day 1 (although Haas had a spare). Magnussen is fairly experienced in F1, so there isn’t much of a strong correlation between experience and incidents in testing. Also to keep in mind that these cars are very new for some drivers, after having lower performance cars for the past 3 years – some drivers have never experienced car loads like what can be experienced on these carss, and Stroll is not alone on this. Stroll has actually been out testing in an older Williams in Sepang during the off-season to prepare for these cars. Finally on this point, as it is testing, drivers are unlikely to be going at it at 100%, so car speed and car loads are likely to be lower and therefore risk of an incident is lower as well.

    8. Looks like he got a tankslapper, always unfortunate and not a lot he could do once it had happened.

      Thankfully the gravel trap worked as intended. Arguably there would’ve been no damage with tarmac but the car may well have hit the wall so it’s swings and roundabouts

      1. @strontium As he mentioned, other drivers had spins too. Bottas did in the exact same place but didn’t go into the gravel.

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