Alexander Albon, Williams, Zandvoort, 2023

Williams “not a slow car anymore” and “a pain to race” against – Gasly

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly is concerned how difficult it will be to race against the Williams drivers in today’s Dutch Grand Prix.

The Alpine driver qualified 12th for today’s race, behind both Williams cars. Alexander Albon will line up fourth and Logan Sargeant starts 10th.

Williams are one place behind Alpine in the constructors championship, but 46 points adrift of them. However Gasly said it’s clear they’ve made significant progress with their FW45 since the season began.

“The Williams is not a slow car anymore,” Gasly told media including RaceFans after qualifying. “I think we can all agree that they’ve clearly made a massive step forward.

“They’re extremely quick in the straights, they didn’t used to be so fast in the corners, but when you are fast in the straight and decent in the corners you end up having a pretty quick race car.

“They are a pain to race as well, and we’ve got two of them ahead of us for tomorrow. So it’s not going to make our life easier.”

The Williams drivers showed promising pace during Friday’s dry practice sessions and repeated it in the rain hit qualifying on Saturday.

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“I must say this weekend they’ve been very strong,” Gasly admitted. “In a way it’s not fully surprising because I think the last few weekends we always put them roughly where they are at the moment. We know they are much more competitive this year but clearly to put both cars in Q3 was quite impressive.”

Gasly had a lengthy scrap with Albon in the previous race at Spa, eventually passing the Williams on the outside heading into Fagnes. He said it will be important for his race not to end up running behind one of the FW45s.

“We do consider Williams slightly differently in our strategy than other cars because they have such an advantage in straight line speed that you don’t want to be stuck behind one of them like I was in Spa,” he said.

“But, it’s racing, and if it happens then you need to find another way. That’s why we ended up with a nice overtake on the outside in Spa. But, I must say there are other cars slightly easier to race than them.”

Sergio Perez, who will start three places behind Albon, also acknowledged the progress Williams have made. “They’ve been really strong,” said the Red Bull driver.

“He’s been doing a great weekend, driving really well. They have very strong straight-line speed so it will be interesting to see what we are able to do.”

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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