Williams: F1 2022 car run highlights visibility concerns

Williams duo Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi say their first experience of a 2022 Formula 1 car has highlighted how visibility could be more restricted with the new bigger tyres.

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

The pair completed a shakedown of their Williams FW44 at a wet Silverstone on Tuesday, as the squad unveiled an all-new livery for the season ahead.

And although the rules restricted their running to 100km in total, and the day was hit by rain, both drivers admit concerns that visibility with the new 18-inch wheels and tyre deflectors could be more limited have been realised.

Latifi said: “The visibility, it definitely is worse in some corners. I guess it just depends on the kind of corner, how much you are steering into the corner and where your gaze is going.

“I think that'll just be something that everyone has to get used to. But there are definitely instances where you do see less for sure.”

Albon reckoned that running on a wide-open track like Silverstone was not such a problem, but believes that street circuits could be more of an issue.

“Today, we had kind of the worst of it with a dark, gloomy, wet day at Silverstone, but it wasn't too bad,” he explained.

“I think we're going to struggle more when we go to street tracks. When we come towards Monaco, Baku Jeddah, that's going to be the tricky ones.

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Photo by: Williams

“On open tracks, you can see far ahead of you. With the blind spots of the tyre and all the deflectors, it takes away a lot of that immediate view as you're looking into the corner.

"So what you end up doing is you're looking actually further around the corner.

“However, on a street track, obviously past a wall, there's only more wall, so you can't see much around it. I think that's going to be the tricky one.

“And also combat driving, I think, that's also going to be something a little bit trickier to see where you are, where the front wing is and where your tyres are. That might be a little bit more tricky.”

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While the shakedown and conditions did not allow either Williams driver to understand much about the new 2022 F1 machinery, Latifi did suggest he could feel how much heavier the new cars were.

“It was really tricky to get any kind of proper feeling of the car but it definitely feels very different to the last year for sure,” he said. “It feels like you're driving a heavier car.

“But beyond that, I was nowhere near the limits. We're kind of just making sure everything's running, making sure the seat's comfortable and any little adjustments you want to make on that.

“So besides that, I'm not really picking and reading too much into anything else that I felt.”

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