Williams’ Alex Albon says the 2022 challengers demand more precise driving when giving it full beans.
Albon played a behind-the-scenes roll in developing Red Bull’s RB18, having served as their 2021 test and reserve driver, but takes his place on the grid in 2022 with the Williams FW44 at his disposal.
The regulatory changes for 2022 were significant, creating cars designed to be able to follow closely without losing as much performance, while the tyre size has also been increased from 13 to 18 inches by Pirelli.
A three-day shakedown run in Barcelona has allowed the drivers to experience their first extensive runs in the new machinery, with Albon noticing the style of driving required has changed.
Now, if a driver wants to test the limits of their car, they must be more precise to make it stick, in Albon’s opinion.
Responding to a question from Motorsport.com, Albon said: “The cars, they are slippery obviously, you can see them moving around a bit more. So it’s a bit more finesse required for the driving.
“I think once you are on the limit and things are stiff, you’ve got to be a bit more precise when you are driving these things. So I’ll be interested to see what the cars are like when you are driving on the limit.
“It feels almost like an F2 car in terms of the way it responds, but with F1 corner speed so it doesn’t feel very alien. We are in Barcelona, which is a smooth circuit, so I’m not sure if that will change going to…I’m trying to think now…Austin? We’ll see.”
As for the 18-inch tyres, Albon added they are “quite different to operate”, which means “there is a bit of learning to do there as well”.
That said, so far he is happy with his experiences behind the wheel of the FW44.
“It’s feeling pretty good, to be honest,” he confirmed.
“The car feels like it’s in a good place to begin with. We have a good foundation for the rest of the year to start on. Nothing obvious sticking out, which is always good.
“Obviously it’s a new regulation so it’s a bit of a reset for everyone, which I think helps me a little bit as well.
“There’s still a bit of rust there. But otherwise I’m shaking it off. And every lap I do in the car is feeling better and better.”
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