How Williams “threw everything” at Canada F1 points chance

The Williams Formula 1 team “threw everything” into the Canadian Grand Prix after identifying it as a points-scoring opportunity – and the reward was Alex Albon’s seventh place.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Team principal James Vowles made the call to fast-track an update package that wasn’t originally intended for Montreal, and the factory managed to produce enough new parts for Albon’s car.

In addition, Albon was given a brand new Mercedes power unit in the search for an extra edge over the weekend.

A brilliant strategy call saw Albon fastest on slicks on a drying track in the Q2 session, and after starting ninth he used a one-stop strategy as he moved up to seventh and used all his racing know-how to keep rivals behind.

“I can't thank the team enough,” said Albon when asked about his race by Autosport. “I've been at the factory the last two weeks quite a lot, in terms of simulator work but also with James.

“I can't tell you how much of a part deficit we were at after Barcelona, we were on the edge, and we decided to fast-track the upgrade into Canada.

“The people at the factory, composites and everyone; actually James and I went to meet them and discuss with them how we've got to try and get this update ready for Canada, because it's going to be our only chance possibly until one of these Monza races come along.

“And the guys worked absolutely flat out to get it ready, and it was great to be able to put it on the car. 

“We put a new PU in even this weekend, we put everything into this weekend, actually a bit of pressure in some respects coming into the weekend to deliver. And we did, so I'm very happy.”

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Williams

Vowles confirmed that the team had earmarked Montreal as a chance to score points and thus left no stone unturned in its preparations.

“I highlighted a few of the races this year, this was one of them, where you have to throw everything at it,” he told Autosport. 

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“And clean execution, don't roll the dice necessarily. I know what it looked like in Q2, rolling the dice, but I think that was just good execution.

“And then deliver what we can out of the car. Because there are going be tracks, we know this - and I'll tell you already Budapest, unless it's wet – where we're going to struggle. 

“But there are going to be tracks where we can deliver. And this was one of them, and you throw everything at it.”

Vowles confirmed that the team was already up against it due to a general shortage of bodywork parts, and stressed that the factory had to work extra hard to get the updated package ready for Albon’s car.

“It's weeks' worth of work that nearly didn't make it,” he said.

“It's just they pulled together as an organisation, as a team, to deliver what we have here. And I'm confident that without the update, we wouldn't be celebrating the points.

“We were particularly short [of parts] because Barcelona, and not just for ourselves but for others, was strong attrition. And it became difficult now, can we really put this through the organisation? Or are we going to fall flat on our face?

James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing, in the Team Principals Press Conference

James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing, in the Team Principals Press Conference

Photo by: Motorsport Images

“And when you commit to the update, there's no going back, you can't fail, you got to deliver. And we made the decision. 

“I’m very happy with the decision I made, but I also made sure that I spent time with the team that I've just asked to basically give up weekends, give up evenings, let's get onto this.

“Myself and a few others did some late nights at the factory. Not physically glueing and bonding, I wouldn't be any good at that! But just working with the team, because I appreciate all the time and the efforts that they're putting into it. And they did.

“They worked through what is required to get these parts here to the track. And it's what I meant by that teamwork makes a difference. But that's also modern F1 racing.”

Asked if the latest parts will be more useful at upcoming tracks, Vowles added: “They'll be more useful. It's downforce, so they help you everywhere.

“Our car suits Montreal more, it's more friendly to our car. I think Austria won't be too bad either, Silverstone, maybe a bit more of a struggle. Budapest will be very tough.”

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