Formula One

Albon: Real team effort underway to ‘bring Williams up the field’


Alex Albon says a real team effort is underway at Williams to bring its new FW45 up the field, but the Anglo-Thai charger says the Grove-based outfit is facing a long road ahead.

On Monday, Williams unveiled the livery of its new car and a collection of new commercial partners.

The team’s FW45 will hit the track for the first time at Silverstone on February 13 for a shakedown run before kicking off its on-track preparations in earnest in Bahrain ten days later.

Williams closed out Formula 1’s field in 2022, so the team is leaving no stone unturned to help it improve its performance this season.

Albon and rookie teammate Logan Sargeant have been hard at work in the team’s simulator in the past four weeks, getting acquainted with their new mount and establishing a baseline configuration from which to develop the FW45.

“The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do,” said Albon.

“Obviously, Logan’s coming in with fresh experience or let’s just say, less experience than someone like myself,” said Albon.

“But it’s kind of just trying to keep it real. A lot of it is just trying to work together. We’ve got a long road ahead, realistically speaking.

“We’ve driven the sim now for a month, we’re making inroads. The main thing is that feedback is the same, we’ve got similar areas that we want the car to improve in. So we’ve been chipping away at it.

“And as we’ve said before, it’s a real team effort here to bring the car up the field. We need to be open and honest with where we are and see how it unfolds itself in Bahrain.”

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Albon steered clear of making any bold predictions ahead of the start of Williams’ 2023 campaign, but the 26-year-old who enters his second season with the team is confident that progress has been achieved since the end of last year.

“It’s hard to say,” he said. “I would say that we are definitely in a better position ourselves than we were end of last year.

“But I don’t know how that translates to the circuit, I don’t know how big of a step everyone else is going to make. Only time will tell.

“When you drive on a simulator, there’s a lot of different things that can be misled, correlation and whatnot, you never quite know.

“So for now, we’re in a better place. But it’s hard to say really where we stand.”

On the technical side, Albon offered some insight on which areas Williams focused its efforts

“I can say that low speed front-locking was quite a big problem for us last year, and we’re trying to get around that and understand why it was so difficult,” he commented.

“So areas like that there’s a common goal to improve the car and those areas, it’s not just myself. The goals are pretty clear.

“Logan, even last year, he had similar feedback, he knows the problems in the car, it’s not totally new to him, the feeling of the car. He gets where the car needs to be quicker.

“So everyone’s involved in the development and trying to address the weaknesses we had.”

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Albon: Real team effort underway to ‘bring Williams up the field’

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