Williams F1 News: Team Reveals Problem Costing Them 0.45 Seconds Per Lap

Williams F1 tackles weight challenges with their 2024 car, costing them 0.45 seconds per lap.
May 3, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Williams driver Alexander Albon (23) races out of turn 17
May 3, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Williams driver Alexander Albon (23) races out of turn 17 / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Williams F1 team has encountered a major setback with their 2024 car, the FW46, being overweight by about 15kg. This excess weight is costing the team approximately 0.45 seconds per lap.

At the outset of the 2024 Formula One season, the Williams F1 Team has openly addressed a significant challenge that has undercut their performance on the track. The FW46 has been running heavier than the team’s engineers and strategists had initially planned. According to team principal James Vowles, this excess weight has been a primary contributor to their slower lap times by nearly half a second.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Vowles commented to Autosport:

“The transformation we did between 2023 to ‘24 was that we took 14 kilos out of the chassis. For anyone in the business that knows those numbers, you'll realise that's an extraordinary feat and the team did very well in doing that.

“However, the car this year that we've been running is about four and a half tenths a lap slower, every lap, by the fact it is still overweight.”

The issues with the FW46 arose during the winter development stages, where delays led to late finalizations and subsequent increases in the car’s overall weight. Vowles continued:

“When things get delayed, weight gets added as one of the fixes to get you back on track. We added an enormous amount of weight, despite the chassis being in a much better place.”

Williams has now implemented a rigorous weight-saving program starting from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with planned introductions of lighter components to their cars, particularly on Alex Albon’s FW46. Vowles explained:

“If you go back now and look at your timesheets, and take four and a half tenths off, you have a realisation as to why Alex has been sat here frustrated, because I've muted him.

“I wanted to have the opportunity here to say this is what we did, and this is what we're doing to fix it. What's not of interest to me is what's happened. It's how we move forward from this point onwards.

“So Imola is the start of weight reduction, that will now continue across the next six races fundamentally in order to get us back to where we need to be.”

Lydia Mee


Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.