F1 News: Alex Albon Reveals the Worst as Williams Still Has Major Issue

Jun 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg (DEU) attempts to pass Williams driver Alexander Albon (THA) during the Canadien Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg (DEU) attempts to pass Williams driver Alexander Albon (THA) during the Canadien Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Williams Racing's struggles in the 2024 Formula 1 season continue to unfold, punctuated by production delays and ongoing difficulties in managing the weight of their car. Alex Albon, the Grove outfit's leading driver, expressed frustration and concern as the team grapples with a chassis that remains significantly overweight despite rigorous efforts to pare it down.

Williams initiated the season with their FW46 model, which was considerably heavier than the minimum weight allowed, resulting in a pace deficit of four to five-tenths per lap. Despite shedding 14kg off the car since the season's start, Albon pointed out the persistent weight issues.

"We're still overweight and by a good amount," Albon remarked, highlighting the performance drag faced by the team. Williams introduced a series of updates beginning at Imola, including a revised floor on Albon's car, but teammate Logan Sargeant's updates were still pending.

The impact of the car's weight was notably evident at certain circuits, with the young Thai-British driver securing the team's first points at Monaco—a track less sensitive to weight variations. His performance highlighted a fleeting respite in a season marred by technical setbacks.

"Monaco I think is the least sensitive to weight and Canada is the fourth least sensitive to weight, so good tracks," Albon noted. He was poised for another promising finish in Canada before an incident with Carlos Sainz cut his race short.

Looking ahead, Albon identified the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as a potential hurdle, given the track’s demand for high downforce.

"Barcelona will just be about trying to optimize our car. It's max downforce, which is similar to Monaco, so our big rear wing works quite well. It's quite efficient," he explained. Despite some optimism about the new rear wing, Albon tempered expectations regarding any dramatic improvements in the team's competitive stance.

Albon's candid reflections shed light on the internal challenges within Williams. Discussing the difficulty in addressing media queries about the car's performance, he shared, "It was hard because you guys were asking me what the difference was with last year's car and I was telling you it's better, but we were running around in P19 and P20. I kind of had to bite my lip a little bit, but it was mostly down to it.

"I'm not expecting some magic switches [in the pecking order], I'm just hoping we've got a car that's a bit more consistent. Barcelona has predominantly been one of the worst circuits for us. I know we say that about a lot of tracks, but it really is one of the worst ones.

"I'll be interested to see if we're okay in Barcelona now or maybe we're actually good."

Albon remains hopeful about future improvements, stating, "There's a big push to try to get it on weight before the end of the season but it is going to be tough."


Published
Alex Harrington

ALEX HARRINGTON

Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.