Amid its tug-of-war with BAR over Jenson Button’s services, Williams-BMW will try something new at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday – a FW26 with a conventional, needle-shaped front end.

Amid its tug-of-war with BAR over Jenson Button’s services, Williams-BMW will try something new at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday – a FW26 with a conventional, needle-shaped front end.


The Grove-based team has again requested Antonio Pizzonia to deputise for Ralf Schumacher, who will miss both the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix.


But more importantly, Juan-Pablo Montoya and Pizzonia's FW26 race cars will have a revised nose profile which has been validated as an improved geometry in relation to the other aerodynamic improvements released at recent races.


“The change represents the constant aero evolution of the FW26,” the team says, but there has been widespread speculation that Williams-BMW had to add excess weight to the controversial “walrus” or “tusked” nose to make it strong enough to pass the FIA’s crash tests.


CARtoday.com has also heard that although the FW26’s front end was aerodynamically-efficient at speed, it unbalanced the car under braking.


Does it mean that the “walrus” is a thing of the past? Not entirely… On Thursday, only Pizzonia's car was equipped with the new design while Montoya's FW26 was still showing up with the original nose style.


It seems highly probable that Williams will test the two nose configurations on Friday and then decide which design shows the best performance. It is not clear at the moment if both drivers will run with an identical front section after the first day or if only one driver will benefit from the most suitable choice.