Williams is already behind: ‘Simply unacceptable not to have two cars on the track’

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Williams is already behind: 'Simply unacceptable not to have two cars on the track'

Williams team boss James Vowles honestly admits that the repair costs for Alexander Albon’s FW46 car will have a negative impact on the planned upgrades. The repair costs will mean that less money will be left for the planned upgrades, and that the team will have less time and manpower for the further development of the Williams car.

Williams was perhaps the most unlucky during the Grand Prix weekend in Australia. Albon crashed his FW46 during the first free practice session, and because the British team has no spare chassis, only one Williams car could take part in Sunday’s race. Logan Sargeant gave up his car to Albon, who also just missed out on finishing in the points. Williams team boss Vowles now admits it was ‘simply unacceptable’ that the team did not have a third chassis in Australia. According to the Brit, the initial focus was on making two better-performing cars by 2024 in addition to continued infrastructure improvements at Williams. A third chassis was not a priority for the team from Wantage.

A week after the race in Melbourne, repairs to Albon’s car are still in full swing. However, in times of the budget cap for teams, there is even more bad news for Williams: team boss Vowles explains that the costs of the repairs will certainly influence the amount of upgrades the team can take into the rest of the season. “No doubt that will happen,” Vowles admitted to Melbourne media, including PlanetF1. “No team plans not to have a third chassis, not in Formula 1 today.”

However, it is not the first time that Vowles started an F1 season without a third chassis. ‘The last time I had that was in 2009 (with Brawn GP, ​​ed.). That was the last time I didn’t have three cars and we were lucky that year, we could have easily lost the championship by losing a car, you don’t plan that.’

Williams is behind

The Williams team boss believes that it is no longer possible in Formula 1 for a team not to have both cars on the track during a race. “It’s just unacceptable not to have two of your cars next to each other on the track,” said Vowles, explaining why his team did not have a spare chassis. “The reason this happened is because we’re behind on everything. As we try to get through the processing systems and transformation, something is being pushed back. And in this case it is the third chassis.’

Vowles now faces the enormous challenge of repairing Albon’s chassis without losing momentum in further development and upgrades. “So that also means that while we have updates and other things planned, I have to divert the entire workforce to fix this chassis without losing the momentum that we have on the third chassis and the updates. So something will happen, there’s no doubt about that,” Vowles predicts.

Another two cars at Suzuka?

Although Vowles is unsure whether the team can do everything at the same time, the British team boss is confident that Albon’s car will be repaired in time for the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend. “What I can tell you is that based on the evidence we have so far, and the work was completed last night, everything seems completely achievable,” Vowles said. ‘I have seen chassis returned in worse condition in the past. I’d say there’s a very good chance that everything will turn out fine.’

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