Alexander Albon, Williams, Silverstone, 2023

Williams weren’t “doing anything special” to get both cars in top five – Albon

2023 British Grand Prix

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Williams’ pace in practice for the British Grand Prix surprised Alexander Albon, who said the car was a handful in the strong winds at the track.

Albon was third-quickest in both practice sessions at Silverstone on Friday. However he admitted the conditions made it hard to judge where the team had made progress.

“Truthfully, if you talk about balance, every corner is different here because the wind is hitting the car in different ways,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “So you get what you call a very ‘disconnected’ car.

“There’s a lot you can do, but also it’s very hard, for example turn three is oversteer and turn four is understeer. You can’t really attack those corners and do set-up work because they’re the same corner speeds and you’re just getting a headwind and then tailwind. So it’s all about compromise around this circuit.”

He said the team have “got to keep grounded” because their performance is “also a bit surprising for us.”

Williams introduced a significant upgrade on Albon’s car two races ago and gave his team mate Logan Sargeant the new parts at the last race in Austria. Both drivers ended Friday in the top five.

“I’d be lying to say it’s not surprising,” Albon admitted, adding, “obviously we’re not doing anything special.”

Albon suspects some of the potential of the team’s upgrade was masked by the nature of the circuits they have run them on so far.

“It’s strange because, without sounding too pessimistic, it doesn’t feel great out there for us but it clearly must feel worse for the others,” he said. “The wind out there is a real pain, it really separates the balance of the car. But for us, we seem to be coping with it much better than everyone else.

“We’ve also had this upgrade package which what we’ve seen has been a bit better for high-speed corners than low speed. Canada and Austria were kind of low-speed tracks so hopefully, maybe, it’s partly due to that.

“But it’s a bit of a question mark. Honestly our long-run pace was also strong considering we’re on the hard tyre. We’ve got to keep grounded and just focus on ourselves. But it’s a bit of a strange one to finish laps and see yourself in the top three.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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10 comments on “Williams weren’t “doing anything special” to get both cars in top five – Albon”

  1. Just glory runs anyway.

    1. Coventry Climax
      7th July 2023, 22:27

      Why would they want to do that? It’s not the time of year to go hunting for sponsors and make yourself look better then you are. They are already gradually improving, and Dorilton seems to have the financial side covered quite decently.
      And then, with a car that’s susceptible to wind conditions, you suffer more when you’re lighter.
      I’m pretty sure they value knowing where exactly they stand quite a bit higher at this point.
      All in all, I doubt your ‘glory run’ theory.

    2. I disagree on this as they went a lot of laps after that and even made the second fastes after 5-6 laps. So as they said qualiflier full.

      1. Would be interesting for williams to come back to the top teams, however I’m obviously not gonna read too much into a practice session.

      2. @macleod Only sarcasm anyway.

    3. Their long runs on fuel full were equally competitive. So, not glory runs.

    4. Hardly. They had full fuel runs.

  2. Interestingly enough they used to be the team that had the most problems with wind in the past. Did they learn their lesson perchance?

  3. I genuinely hope it’s a true improvement that translates to long run pace. What a delight it would be to see them get solid points to go along with their celebration weekend.

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