Williams Racing endured a highly challenging start to the new Formula 1 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Alex Albon finishing thirteenth and Nicholas Latifi bringing the car home in sixteenth.
It was not the start to the season that Williams had been hoping for, both cars did at times though demonstrate strong pace and were capable of battling with not only the McLaren F1 Team, but also the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team. Other than that though it wasn’t the strongest of Grand Prix’s for the British team.
For the majority of the race both Albon and Latifi struggled for pace, Albon to his credit performed much better than his Canadian team-mate, despite it being only his first race for the team. Albon also surprisingly made it to Qualifying 2 unlike Latifi who started last, the Thai driver at least managed to prove that there is some performance to be found in the FW44.
Williams Racing’s Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson, highlighted after the race the positives which could be taken away from the opening round, as well as areas which need working on.
“It has been a tough evening in Bahrain, but we got both cars to the end, and at times showed some reasonable pace. Alex made a good start and made some places early in the race. Unfortunately, today we didn’t have the pace to hold on. However, we were able to race competitively with both the McLarens and the Aston Martins, which was an improvement from what we saw at the test last week.
“Nicholas raced hard as he always does but struggled to find a sustainable pace without the tyre degradation becoming unmanageable. Alex was calm and collected throughout the race and he has had an excellent start to his Williams career. Qualifying and racing with a new team is never straightforward as there are so many procedures to learn and relationships to form. However, after solid simulator and winter testing programmes, he was able to acquit himself very well all weekend.”
Robson is hopeful that there is so much more to come not only from the drivers, but also from the cars as the season progresses. Williams won’t have to wait long to hopefully get more out of the FW44, as the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place this weekend.
“There is more to come from the drivers and the car over the coming weeks, but this was a solid start for the whole team, and we are now looking forward to the very different challenges posed by Jeddah Corniche Circuit.”