Williams says it will be very tricky to balance car development next year with the big regulation changes that will come into play in 2014.
New car and engine rules mean Formula 1 teams will have to work on two very different development programmes in order to make sure they stay competitive in 2013 while they prepare for the next season. Williams's chief operations engineer Mark Gillan says that finding the right balance will be very tricky, admitting wind tunnel work will be an area where extra caution will be needed.
"There are areas of this car over the winter which we need to improve and want to improve for next season but you've also got to balance 2014 on the horizon," Gillan said. "That's a very important season and the resource you've got for what's relevant for 2014 and what's only relevant for 2013.
"This season, it has been very tight and the margins are small so we do want to push on 2014 as well. You are juggling two developments together so you have to try and fit that in. Clearly the wind tunnel development is something which you have to be very careful of in terms of prioritisation.
"All teams will be in the same boat. It's about ensuring that you are far enough ahead on 2014 to make informed decision on setting the car out without impacting too much on the 2013 development."
Gillan added the team's 2013 car will be an evolution of the FW34 used this year rather than the radical overhaul brought about by the team's worst season in F1 in 2011.
"This year, we didn't throw everything out of the FW33 [but] a lot was changed," he said. "But for next year, yes, it'll primarily be an evolution of this year's car but we will make changes."
Gillan said he felt the team had taken a significant step forward in 2012, although he conceded it still failed to maximize the car's potential all year long despite victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.
"We are much improved. It's still not where we want to be by any stretch of the imagination, but much improved," Gillan added. "If you look at where we were lat year and where we are now, we are disappointed where we don't get the cars into Q3 and disappointed when we don't get into the points."