Alex Albon revealed that new Williams Team Principal James Vowles who joined from Mercedes back in February is bringing a lot of his Mercedes experience to the table.
Vowles left his role as head of strategy at Mercedes after ten years with the Brackley squad, and needless to say, he is familiar with winning ways, and how a winning Formula 1 team operates.
And it seems Williams are starting to feel the knowledge and experience Vowles accumulated at Mercedes early on, evident from what the team’s driver Alex Albon told F1’s official website.
“James has definitely got the knowledge from Mercedes. He’s obviously a smart guy we need right now,” Albon said when asked about Vowles’ impact.
“It’s something where, of course, I think we do a lot of things good and there’s obviously other areas we can do differently [in the] long term, short term [and] medium term.
“There’s all aspects to look at, so I would say he’s only been here for a short while, but listening to what he has to say he’s bringing a lot to the table.
“Hopefully that will keep on happening. I would say a lot of it is more long-term than short-term, but I’m excited to see the progress,” the Thai driver added.
Williams seem to have improved in 2023 with Albon scoring points in Bahrain’s season opener, and reflecting on his new F1 car; he said: “In terms of a feeling with a car, it feels quite similar to last year, but we’ve definitely made some small steps here and there – as they’ve added up, it’s clearly much better.
“I’m feeling like we’re in a much better place and we know there’s room for improvement as well, which excites me a lot.” Albon added.
Williams have improved compared to 2022
Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, echoed Albon’s sentiments speaking about the team’s FW45, and told the Motorsport network: “We came out of the test thinking we were better than we were last year, but maybe still as pretty much one of the slower cars.
“Bahrain was generally a bit of a surprise. [Jeddah], thinking that the circuit here would suit us a bit more, it’s probably slightly less of a surprise.
“But it’s still early days,” Robson pointed out. “People seem quite up and down as far as I can see, session by session and even in qualifying, it looked like team-mates in the same car were quite up and down, so it’s probably still a bit early by the moment.
“It’s all going well, it was a nice surprise in Bahrain and long may it continue,” the Williams engineer hoped.
Robson added that the improvement in Williams’ form was the work done to address the weaknesses identified in last year’s FW44.
“We’ve made good progress because we knew when the last year’s car came out, it had some particular weaknesses,” he commented.
“Throughout last year and into this year we’ve worked on those, and I think they probably yielded a reasonable step up in performance. We did see quite a lot of it on FW44. It was obviously quite poor at the start of the year and it did get better.
“I think we managed to take another step at the start of this year. That said, of course, we’ve only been to two circuits, so I’m sure there’ll be others where that improvement is less evident,” Robson concluded.