Alexander Albon has expressed hope that Williams can make a substantial improvement in 2023 after concluding the team is in much better shape heading into the new season than where they ended last year.
Williams was rooted to the foot of the Constructors’ standings for the fourth time in five years last season as it struggled hugely with the newest technical regulations at the Teams’ disposal.
While Albon believes the Grove-based entity is better placed than they were at the end of 2022, the Thai driver has remained cautious in predicting the exact step the team will make until the FW45 hits the track and can be directly compared against its competitors.
“It’s hard to say,” Albon began. “I would say that we are definitely in a better position ourselves than we were at the end of last year, but I don’t know how that translates to the circuit.
“I don’t know how much of a big step everyone else is going to make but I think, yeah, only time will tell. We’re driving the simulator, there’s a lot of different things that can be misled and, you know, correlation and what not.
“You never quite know. So, for now, we are in a better place, but it’s hard to say where we stand.”
Questioned on what the minimum target should be for Williams this season, Albon responded: “From my side, my main target is to see progress.
“I think if we can improve on where we were last year… you can easily say ‘that’s not hard’. But in this world, F1 teams now, it’s a race. With these regs changing so much, the downforce and everything, it’s not the same as it was last year.
“Of course, teams have still managed to recoup the loss and of course improve on top of that. But it’s not to say that other teams are doing a better job.
“We just need to make sure that we are progressing, on my side that’s scoring more points, clearly. And being in areas where we can fight more.
“There were a few races last year where Q1 was unfortunately all we could do. If we can always be fighting for Q2 and making it into that area of the pack, that area of the grid, the more chances we get to chance for points, the more we’re going to get there. Let’s see.”
Williams’ troubled 2022 campaign was stifled by an original car design that contained several fundamental problems, leading the team to bring a revised package midway through the season and then eventually abandoning work on the FW44 to focus on its successor.
Albon has discussed the glaring weaknesses that plagued the side’s overall competitiveness last year and how it has been a team effort to try and identify and rectify those shortcomings.
“There were pretty obvious weaknesses in the car,” he said. “To name them, I can say low-speed, front locking was quite a big problem for us last year. We’re trying to get around that and understand why it was so difficult.
“Areas like that, there’s a common goal to improve the car in that area. It’s not just myself. The goals are pretty clear, and as I said, Logan [Sargeant] and I, even last year, he had similar feedback.
“He knows the problems in the car, it’s not totally new to him, the feeling of the car. He gets where the car needs to be quicker, so everyone is involved in the development and trying to address the weaknesses we have.”
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