Williams slower on the straight: ‘No longer the speed we had last year’

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Williams slower on the straight: 'No longer the speed we had last year'

According to Alexander Albon, it is currently not possible for Williams to get everything out of the FW46. In Saudi Arabia, the Thai-British driver only had to beat colleagues from the top five best teams and Nico Hülkenberg, with the latter largely owing his place to his teammate. Nevertheless, Albon has the idea that Williams can show much more.

“Put simply, we have a better car than last year,” he told Motorsport.com. “But everyone has that,” he has to admit immediately. ‘And I would say that Haas has surprised overall. They are more competitive.’ The combination of that surprising package from the American racing team and the defensive work of Kevin Magnussen ultimately resulted in Albon finishing just outside the points in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The season is not starting as hoped for Williams

“We know where our weaknesses are,” the Williams driver continues. ‘We know where to find time, where the lap time is.’ Albon shows some optimism in view of the possibility that his racing team will be able to benefit from this in the coming races. “Hopefully over the next six or seven races we can find that performance and develop it better than our rivals.” According to him, there is certainly more in the car, but it is annoying that Williams cannot reach it yet. ‘It’s a shame because I really think there was a chance to score points. We can do it.’

The coming races will therefore be a matter of waiting for Albon to see whether there is any improvement. “Hopefully we can shave off some time and become faster and faster,” hopes the man from London. “This is not really how we want to start the season,” he has to admit. “We wanted more than this, but it’s just the beginning and we can fight back.”

Magnussen’s DRS train was in Albon’s way

The advantage of speed on the straight that Williams had in 2023 has disappeared. “We no longer have the speed we had last year,” says the driver. “So it’s really difficult for us to catch up now.” In Jeddah, Albon had to find another way to overtake the cars in front due to the loss of speed on the long straights. “I now had to overtake in the corners, which is not normal for me,” he says. ‘It was interesting. When the DRS train came into existence, it was simply impossible.’

Without this train, it would have been easier to compete with Williams’ current package. “When the train fell apart and I was able to attack a car without DRS, it was okay.” In his own words, the driver who plays for Thailand was able to get through the field, but it certainly remained annoying. ‘It’s frustrating because we had a better race pace. Our pace wasn’t bad.’

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