Williams Formula 1 driver Alex Albon expects to have to adjust his driving style this season as the British team seek to move up a gear with their new FW46 after moving from the bottom-placed team in 2022 to seventh last year.
After his unsuccessful term at Red Bull and a year on the sidelines, Albon scored all but one of the former champions’ points in 2023 and, now starting his third season at Williams, is a target for top teams as Mercedes and Red Bull consider their options for 2025.
“Coming off the back of a very positive year we’re hoping to build on our progress into 2024, working hard to make some good steps forward in performance,” the Thai race driver said at the Williams livery launch in New York on Monday.
The new FW46 Mercedes-powered car, blue with a red and white pinstripe, will make its track debut on a filming day in Bahrain on 20 February before official pre-season testing starts on 21st February in Bahrain
Albon continued: “We’ve asked a lot of the team and the factory to get this car where it needs to be, and we’ve also slightly changed the philosophy of the car.
“I’m interested to see if we can improve some of the characteristics it has had historically. It will require an adjustment in driving style but I’m confident it will be a change for the better,” added Albon.
Vowles: Our drivers are capable of consistently fighting for points
The presentation, at Puma’s flagship Fifth Avenue store, also introduced a principal partnership with Japanese machinery maker Komatsu. They also worked with Williams in the 1980s and 1990s, providing gearbox parts to the title-winning FW18 and FW19 cars.
Williams, who last won a title in 1997, are owned by U.S.-based private investment firm Dorilton Capital and also have the sport’s only United States driver in Logan Sargeant, starting his second season.
“Taking the time to properly reflect on my rookie season, there’s been a lot of lessons learned and experience gained that can only benefit me as I enter this new season,” said Sargeant.
Team boss James Vowles, who joined a year ago from Mercedes, said his two drivers were “capable of consistently fighting for points while helping lead our development for the future.”
The 2024 F1 World Championship season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 2nd March. (Report by Alan Baldwin)