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Formula 1 McLaren Imola March testing

Albon: Williams “can’t access” full potential of 2024 F1 car

Alex Albon says that his Williams Formula 1 team can’t yet access the full potential of its FW46, but he believes there is much more to come from the car.

Albon’s Bahrain GP was compromised by overheating issues on his way to an unrepresentative 15th, while in Saudi Arabia he just missed out on the points by finishing 11th.

Despite being beaten in Jeddah only by the nine surviving cars from the top five teams – plus the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, the Thai/British driver still feels that Williams has not yet shown what it can do.

“Very simply, we've got a better car than last year,” he said. “But so does everyone else. And I'd say Haas in general has been a bit more of a surprise package, they are more competitive.

“We know where our weaknesses are. We know there's lap time to find. We know where the lap time is. Hopefully within the next six or seven races we can start finding that performance, and out-develop our rivals.

“We know there's a good chunk of time in the car. We can't access it right now. It's a bit of a shame, because I think at least today [in Saudi Arabia] especially there was a chance to score points. We can do it.

“So let's see for the next few races, hopefully we're going to just chip away at it and get quicker and quicker.

“[It's] not really how we want to start the season. I think we wanted a bit more than this, but it's only the beginning, and we can fight back.”

Sparks fly from Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Sparks fly from Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

In 2023 Williams benefited from good straight-line speed that made the car competitive on certain circuits, allowing Albon to bag some strong points finishes while holding off potentially faster cars.

This year the team has tried to create a more consistent package, and Albon confirms that the speed advantage has gone.

“We don't have the straight-line speed like last year,” he said. “So it's actually really hard for us to overtake.

“I was quite surprised [in the Jeddah race], I had to do all my overtaking in the corners, which is not normal for me! It was interesting. When the DRS train was there, it was impossible.

“And once it broke up, and I could attack a non-DRS car, it was fine, I could get through the field. It is frustrating, because we had better race pace – our pace was not bad.”

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