Albon frustration at Williams slow start: ‘We should be further ahead’

Alex Albon is confident there is pace in the Williams FW46 which the team has yet to unlock following delays to its preparations for the current F1 season.

Williams has endured a frustrating start to the new F1 campaign in its bid to build upon the platform laid by its seventh place in last season’s constructors’ championship.

Albon, in particular, has just missed out on points in the last two races in Saudi Arabia and Australia with 11th-place finishes, the latter after taking over team-mate Logan Sargeant’s car following the Thai-British driver’s crash in practice on Friday.

The 28-year-old recognises Williams has fallen short so far. He said: “As a team, including myself, we want more than where we are.

“It’s clear we sacrificed quite a lot last year in terms of development of the car to focus on this year’s car, and it’s clear there’s quite a big gap from P5 to P6 in terms of teams. The more frustrating thing on our side is there is pace in the car – we need to unlock it.”

Conceding Williams had to “fast track certain items to get the car in a good place” for the season-opening race in Bahrain, the 28-year-old believes the improvements he and the team want to see are “going to take time” and that “it’s not going to happen overnight”.

‘Racing in a position where we feel like we shouldn’t be’

Asked if Williams’ lack of performance was owing to the change in car philosophy over the off-season, Albon added: “A little bit but not entirely.

“I don’t think we’ve got a car where we’ve got a good amount of lap time in setup. There are a couple of things we can get out of it with setup, but it’s just pure lap time that we feel like we can unlock, not exactly downforce and some other things.

“But, as I said, it’s just that when you’re slightly on the back foot, everything’s coming a bit later, updates are coming later and all this kind of stuff.

“It feels like, truthfully, we are racing in a position we shouldn’t be in. We should be further ahead.”

Albon was further irritated by his latest pointless finish, particularly after three of the leading drivers all retired in Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, along with three-time F1 champion Max Verstappen in his Red Bull.

“It’s been a frustrating one because our rivals scored points, and we need these races,” said Albon. “Knowing when you have three of the top teams retiring, you’ve got to capitalise on that, and unfortunately, we didn’t.”


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