Alex Albon, Williams F1 team’s key driver, recently emphasized the need for significant improvements in the team’s car, the FW45. In a detailed analysis, Albon highlighted the car’s performance issues and expressed optimism for the upcoming season, linking directly to the focus of our headline.
- Albon’s Pivotal Impact: As the main contributor to Williams’ points in 2023, Albon’s performance was crucial in achieving the team’s best constructors’ championship position in six years.
- FW45’s Dual Nature: The car excelled in qualifying but struggled in races due to its ‘extreme peakiness’ and inconsistency, a challenge Albon hopes will be addressed in the future.
- Outlook and Development Strategies: Albon is optimistic about the team’s strategy for overcoming the FW45’s limitations, anticipating significant advancements in the 2024 season.
Alex Albon, the driving force behind Williams Formula 1 Team’s resurgence in 2023, shared his insights into the team’s journey and the FW45’s performance. Despite notable improvements from the previous year, the team faced reliability issues, especially during race days, contrasting with their qualifying successes. Albon elaborated on these challenges at the Abu Dhabi finale:
“I would say we spent a lot of this year figuring that out because the more we can figure this out, the more it’s gonna help us next year,” Albon, 27, remarked. He further described the FW45’s peculiar characteristics: “It has one way that you need to drive it. And at the same time, there are corners that suit it and corners that don’t suit it. The peakiness of the car is pretty extreme in some places.”
Albon specifically mentioned the Las Vegas track, where the team’s strategy of aggressive rim heating for tyre performance in qualifying led to a compromised race day. He reflected, “[Las Vegas], we ran pretty aggressive rim heating to get the tyres to work for the cold track temperatures, it’s what gave us a great result. P5, P6 [in Las Vegas qualifying] but our car was not P5, P6 on paper. It was maybe P9, P10 and likely we compromised too much of the Sunday car for Saturday.”
Highlighting the FW45’s inconsistencies, Albon compared its performance in Monza, where it excelled, against its struggles in Brazil, showcasing the need for improvements. “If you look at, let’s say Brazil compared to Monza, it’s exactly these kinds of issues which we’re trying to fix. There are corners in Brazil, there’s maybe four of them that we’re losing a tenth and a half in each corner and we can’t get around them. We can’t stop front locking, we can’t stop understeering off the track. And then at the same time in Monza, we don’t really have a limitation in the car.”
This comprehensive analysis by Albon paints a clear picture of what Williams needs to focus on for the 2024 season. With his insights and the team’s dedication, there is hope for a more consistent and competitive performance in the upcoming races.