Formula 1 | Encouraging start for Albon, alarming for Latifi at Williams F1
Qualified in Q2 despite an apparently underperforming Williams, Alexander Albon sailed close to points during the first half of the Grand Prix, before logically dropping out.
Finishing 13th, the Thai made a strong debut for his new side in Bahrain, dominating teammate Nicholas Latifi anyway.
“My first Formula 1 race with Williams went pretty well; I felt like we did a good job and really maximized what we had. I got off to a good start and managed to regain a few positions, so I was pushing hard. Inevitably, a few faster cars passed us and we fell back a few places, but it’s a step forward considering the difficulties we had last week. »
“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend, so finishing 13th with no reliability issues should satisfy us. »
Nicholas Latifi fought against… the McLarens for a good part of the race. Inevitably, the observation is more severe on his side: the lack of rhythm is general with him for the moment.
“It’s been a tough day and it’s clear we’re not starting as strong as we would have liked. We lacked pace, we struggled with overall grip, balance and tire degradation, so we need to work to see how to extract more from the package that we have now and really push, a lot, to react as soon as possible. in order to bring more speed to the car. »
“Jeddah will be a different type of track and circuit that should suit us a bit better, but we are still going there with a similar package. I’m sure we’ll be able to optimize it further, knowing what we’ve learned here, but I think it’s still going to be difficult. It’s a 23-race season, so there’s plenty of time to catch up. »
Dave Robson, performance director, is looking for positives in this race, but must face the facts: this Williams is not the best born of F1 2022…
“It was a difficult evening in Bahrain, but we managed to take both cars to the end of the race, and we showed a reasonable pace at times. Alex got off to a good start and gained a few places at the start of the race. Unfortunately, today we didn’t have the pace to stay in the fight. However, we were able to race competitively with the McLarens and Aston Martins, which is an improvement on what we saw in the test last week. »
“Nicholas ran hard as he always does, but struggled to find a sustainable pace without the tire degradation becoming unmanageable. Alex was calm and he had a great start to his career at Williams. »
“There is still a lot to do for the drivers and the car in the coming weeks, but it was a solid start for the whole team, and we are now looking forward to the very different challenges posed by the Jeddah circuit. . »