Saturday, April 20, 2024

‘Proper Racetracks Like Barcelona’ Highlight Williams’ Lack of Downforce – Albon

Alexander Albon said that whilst it was pleasing to beat three cars to the chequered flag on merit, the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya highlighted the need for Williams Racing to bring more downforce to its FW45.

The Thai driver was ‘pleasantly surprised’ to be as competitive as he was during the Spanish Grand Prix, particularly with where the team were on Friday and Saturday, but the ‘proper racetrack’ showed the downforce levels were insufficient to be truly competitive.

Albon hopes the upgrades that are in development back at their Grove factory can enable them to move up the order and challenge once more for the top ten, something he was able to do early in the season before they dropped back in recent events.

“The race wasn’t easy, but it was better than I thought it would be,” said Albon.  “We were fighting and beat three cars on merit.

“Considering where we were on Friday and Saturday, I’m pleasantly surprised with how today went. You get no prizes for P16 but if there was some rain we could’ve maybe had something.

“This weekend showed that, unfortunately, when it comes to these proper racetracks like Barcelona we do struggle and lack a bit of downforce. We’ve got some upgrades coming soon and hopefully once we get that increase in performance we can fight more in the midfield like the start of the year.

“Until then it’s about maximising the car we’ve got. Hopefully we can do a bit better when we get to Canada.”  

“We need to understand why it changed from stint to stint” – Logan Sargeant

Team-mate Logan Sargeant started from the pit lane after overnight set-up changes on board his FW45, and although he quickly caught the pack, struggles in the final stint with his tyres meant he finished twentieth and last.

Sargeant, who had crashed on Saturday during free practice, felt his opening two stints were ‘pretty good’ as he looked to move himself up the order, but a lack of pace and grip on his final set of Pirelli tyres put paid to those chances.

“Starting from pit lane didn’t cost us too much as we caught the back of the pack pretty quickly,” said Sargeant.  “The first two stints were pretty good which was positive, but that last stint was tricky.

“We need to understand why it changed from stint to stint as I couldn’t find the pace or grip. We’ll get rested up and ready for Canada in a couple weeks’ time.”

Logan Sargeant was the last of the finishers in Spain – Credit: Williams Racing