Albon Notices Big Changes in Williams’ 2024 Car on Simulator

Alex Albon reports the Williams FW46 offers a distinctively different experience in the Formula 1 simulator compared to its predecessor.


By Ben Bush
Updated on March 12, 2024

Alex Albon 2024 Williams Launch

In 2023, Albon and Williams showed strong performances on tracks favoring the FW45’s low-drag characteristics, at high-speed, low-downforce venues such as Monza and Montreal.

Despite these moments of competitiveness, the car’s overall weaknesses limited its contention for more points across the season.

Since then, the development of the FW46 has focused on addressing these handling issues, aiming to transform it into a car capable of consistently earning points across a broader range of F1 circuits.

Albon’s initial impressions from testing in the Grove simulator suggest a promising departure from last year’s model, with the FW46 presenting a “very different” driving experience.

“Very different. More than anything, different feeling, so a different driving style [is needed],” Albon said. “I don’t want to speak too soon, but the FW45 always had some consistent limitations with the car, especially when we went to tracks like Monaco or Barcelona they were highlighted.

“Low speed was always a big issue for us, braking was always a big issue for us, but also high-speed, long corners were difficult for us.

“Definitely, in the simulator you can see that these areas have improved, but at the same time that comes with quite a different driving style. When we hit the track, you can really start to try to understand it and pick it apart.”

When questioned about the extent to which his input influenced the adjustments made to Williams’ 2024 car, Albon responded: “It’s not just my feedback, it’s every team-mate, even 2020 and 2021 when I wasn’t even driving the car, it had the same issues, so there has always been an inherent issue with the Williams cars in the last four or five years.

“This year especially, we’ve sacrificed a little bit of development time on the FW45 to focus on the FW46, shorten the amount of upgrades we had on the car, to make sure that we tried to attack this car a little bit more aggressively and really start to change the DNA of the car. That’s the plan. Let’s see if it happens.”

Williams narrowly secured seventh place in the championship, fending off a strong challenge from AlphaTauri, yet their final score of 28 points was significantly behind the team directly above them, as Alpine concluded the season with 120 points.

With a positive outlook on Williams’ potential for substantial improvement this year, Albon believes that aiming to bridge the substantial gap in the points standings is a worthwhile objective, especially if the new car proves to be as adaptable as anticipated.

“I would say when you look at where we finished last year, we just about held off our AlphaTauri but when you actually look at the gap to P6 and P5, that still quite a big jump,” he said.

“Then after Alpine, you’ve got a rather substantial gap to the Astons, McLarens, Mercedes and you’re basically in the top field by that point.

“I want to be fighting Alpine and nipping on the heels of that top group. I think that’s a realistic performance expectation for us as a team and then let’s see how it how it unfolds.

“Podiums and wins, I think realistically we won’t be there this year. If we can be regularly in the points that will be great.

“With the change of approach with our car, we need to be consistent to be that kind of top six, top five team, which we weren’t last year. And I’m very interested to see how we fare in the tracks where we struggled; Monaco, Barcelona, these kinds of places.”

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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