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Williams ready to switch focus to 2024 F1 car

Williams believes now is the right time to switch focus to its 2024 Formula 1 car off the back of some rapid progress with its current challenger.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The Grove-based squad came in to this season following a difficult 2022 campaign where it finished last in the constructors’ championship.

But under the leadership of new team principal James Vowles and changes in its technical structure, it has delivered some solid gains with its FW45 challenger.

This included a major push to bring a decent upgrade package to the Canadian Grand Prix, which has helped the team moved up to seventh in the constructors' standings.

Reflecting on the team’s plans for the remainder of the campaign, head of vehicle performance Dave Robson suggested that the state of the car now meant it made more sense to shift resources to the FW46.

“I think most of what was in the pipeline, we've now delivered,” he said.

“There was the front wing we brought to Silverstone and we'll see that again in Spa. But beyond that, probably just some small things if they come through the wind tunnel and we can make them quite quickly.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, Williams Racing, in the team principals Press Conference

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, Williams Racing, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

“Otherwise, it's now about the right time to start focusing on next year's car. And also just continuing to understand what we've got now, run what we've got through a few different types of circuit and just kind of hone our set-up around it and get the drivers to push the most out of it.”

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While the Canada upgrade has helped Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant enjoy an upswing in performance, Robson feels that the tweaks have not shown their full potential yet.

“It improved the downforce delivery and improved a few of the characteristics, but primarily it was just more downforce,” he said. “But really we haven't run it at a max downforce circuit yet.

“This weekend is probably the first time we will really see it in that configuration.”

Albon finished 13th in the dry second practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, although the positions meant little thanks to this weekend's new alternative tyre allocation leaving teams on very different programmes.

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