Alex Albon targeting Q2 in heavily revised Williams FW44

Alex Albon concedes Williams are lacking mileage on their updated FW44 but still believes Q2 is possible at the British Grand Prix.

Williams introduced their first big upgrade of this season at Silverstone on Friday, putting out a Red Bull-styled FW44.

While by no means a copy of the RB18, Albon said ahead of the session that the car is more in line with the “direction” of the Red Bull race-winning car.

Rain in Friday’s first practice meant his mileage was limited, Williams along with pretty much every team on the grid not wanting to risk damaging the car, while in the second session he managed just 14 laps due to an undisclosed problem.

He finished that session 14th fastest, his time 1.3s down on pace-setter Carlos Sainz.

But perhaps more encouraging for Williams, it was a full second faster than his team-mate Nicholas Latifi who was running the old spec FW44.

Ted breaks down Williams' upgrades on Alex Albon's car for the British Grand Prix 🔎

— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 1, 2022

“It felt okay,” Albon told the official F1 website. “It was different. It’s tricky because everyone didn’t do much running in FP1 and when you have an update you require mileage so we haven’t had much track time.

“We had a slight issue as well at the end of FP2 so we didn’t do a proper long run. We did maybe six or seven timed laps and every time we were on-track, at least, we were looking pretty strong.

“It was good because sometimes updates require big set-up changes, and we do need one, there is still things we need to work on, but it should be, hopefully, achievable overnight and we can get the car in a better window.”

The British-Thai racer reckons the car has the pace to put him Q2 in Saturday’s qualifying.

“Our hopes are we get the car in a good window,” he added. “I think if we can get the balance in a place where I can use the car and push it and get confident in it, then that’s in itself a good achievement.

“Of course, if you look at it on a more and ones-and-zeroes point of view in terms of positioning, Q2 would be an obvious target for us so I think that would be a sensible place to hope for.”

And while Latifi wasn’t happy that he was left with the old-spec car , Albon says running both at the same time was  beneficial.

“Obviously we’ve got different cars out there. It’s very wind-sensitive, just with these gusts, it’s been really tricky to drive.

“So it’s actually been quite useful to have that kind of collation of data because I think if you had both cars on the same set-up you would be have possibly gone ‘okay, this feels a bit tricky, this is a tough one to drive’. B

“But Nicky’s saying the same thing and I’m sure it’s the same down the paddock. So it’s one of them things which has been quite a good thing to have.”



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