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Formula 1 Miami GP

Williams falling behind in F1's upgrade race, says Albon

Alex Albon fears that Williams is falling behind in Formula 1's upgrade battle as it continues to chase its first points of the year.

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

The Grove-based outfit believes it has made progress from the car that helped it finish seventh in the standings last year, but has been caught out by the step forward that Haas and RB have made to lead the chasing pack behind the top five teams.

PLUS: The short-term pain that hides a very real Williams improvement

Williams' situation has further not been helped by the early part of the season being disrupted by a series of major crashes that hampered its ability to focus on upgrades.

One other critical aspect of its 2024 season is that the team has made its FW46 more of an all-rounder that is consistent at all tracks.

While this has helped address previous weaknesses, it also means that Williams is no longer able to produce the kind of giant-killing performances it managed last year at certain venues that played to the car's strengths.

After ending up behind a Haas, an RB and Alpine on the grid in Miami, Albon admitted that things were not ideal for Williams.

"Corner to corner, for the most part, it's better, but there are definitely areas where the rear is a little bit more unstable than last year," he said. "That's just kind of a philosophy that we went down.

"But, honestly, I think it's more the fact that RB and Haas have done quite a big step.

"We have made a step, but it is relative. My China weekend felt really strong - and we were P13. So that's where we are.

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44, Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44, Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"It is frustrating, but it's not like we don't know where the performance is. There is performance on the table. And when and if we can unlock it - I do believe we can score points regularly.

"We're balancing a little bit a lack of upgrades and updates have been late since the shakedown.

"We haven't really put a decent update at all this year so far. So we're falling behind."

Speaking ahead of the Miami weekend, team boss James Vowles revealed that upgrades were on the way now that the team had got on top of its spares situation.

"There's no other words to say it: there is potential but we haven't realised any of it at all," he said.

"We've already got a new front suspension now and we have a new floor coming in two weeks' time. So, you try not to build 10 of them, you build three or four of them.

"When you lose three of them, that just means you've now got to build three or four more whilst you try and get your stock up. And that put us on the back foot a little bit, I think it's fair to say."

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