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Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 15:11 UK
Williams test F1 car at airport

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Watch the car in action on the runway

The Williams F1 team were back at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire in October to put a car through its paces in some high-speed straight line tests.

Test driver Nico Hulkenberg took the car out as various aerodynamic tests were done on a new front wing ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

We just keep changing bits on the car and changing the tests we're doing.
Tom McCullough, Williams F1

BBC Points West's Steve Knibbs joined the team for a tour of the set up where he met Tom McCullough, test team engineer:

"This is the test car, the first chassis that was built - chassis one. It's identical in spec to the race cars - there's no point in testing if it's not - so it's exactly the same as the car that will be going to Brazil."

A number of Formula One teams use the Cotswold Airport runway for testing, with Force India's Antonio Liuzzi testing his F1 car there last month just weeks after Jenson Button put his Brawn GP car through its paces in Gloucestershire.

'Dirty car'

BBC Points West's Steve Knibbs meets Tom McCullough, test team engineer

Throughout a day of testing, Tom explained their aims: "We just keep changing bits on the car and changing the tests we're doing, at different speeds for example, and just seeing what the data looks like compared to what it should do."

Once the car returned from each test, the various components were changed and it even received a good clean and polish.

"A dirty car is not good from an aerodynamic point of view," said Tom. "After each run we clean the car down, try to get all the flies and bits and bobs of dirt off the car.

"It has quite an influence on the results and the data we get so if we don't clean the car during the day the data becomes less and less valid."

The airport in Kemble, near Cirencester, has a 2,000m runway which has been approved for FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) straight line testing by Formula 1 teams for over 10 years.

Cotswold Airport is one of only five FIA approved testing facilities in the UK and, with the full co-operation of the F1 teams, the airport has put in place voluntary restrictions on the amount of testing to ensure cohesion with the local authorities and the surrounding community.




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