Alex Albon details end of ‘throwing pasta at the wall’ upgrade approach

Henry Valantine
Alex Albon, Williams, smiling in the paddock. Bahrain, March 2022.

Williams driver Alex Albon smiling as he arrives in the paddock. Bahrain, March 2022.

Alex Albon has said the budget cap in Formula 1 has forced teams to become more “selective” when it comes to upgrading their cars in-season.

The cap on spending through the year has been implemented by the sport to try and bring in a more level playing field and stabilise team finances in Formula 1, with the larger teams having their previous capacity to continually upgrade their cars eliminated.

Williams do not have the same resources as Albon’s previous team, Red Bull, which he says leads Williams to have to make every investment pay, as very penny now counts that bit more.

But given the extra capacity available at Red Bull compared to Williams, Albon said the team need to be more methodical when they fit new parts to the FW44.


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“You do,” Albon told reporters when asked if he notices a difference between the two teams, quoted by GPFans.

“It’s hard now because obviously, budget caps come into place, so I don’t know how it is at Red Bull now, but let’s say, you see how much more selective and just kind of… it is that thing of, the thought behind each update that we bring has to be reported back really.

“We can’t be wasting time or money on upgrading the car.

“On that side, I think as drivers, we also play quite a big impact on them, it is not so much as throwing pasta at the wall and seeing if it sticks.”

While there are different ways in which Williams and Red Bull operate through their financial constraints, or lack thereof, Albon said “the way that they work is still similar” – despite being at opposite ends of the field.

“Of course, there’s a bit more of a family feel here,” he elaborated. “It is a bit more intimate in working with the guys, which I do enjoy, but of course, yes, it is a different position.

“It’s not an update every weekend that the top teams are doing. It’s also about managing or maximising each detail that you’re in control.”

What can Alex Albon and Williams achieve for the remainder of this year?

Alex Albon drives the upgraded Williams FW44. Austria, July 2022.
Alex Albon drives down the pit lane in the upgraded Williams FW44. Austria, July 2022.

Albon spoke previously about how the Williams works well when it is in the right window in terms of setup, and there have been a few standout drives from him this year.

They still sit bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, but it does seem as though there are reasons to be optimistic at Grove about their prospects.

Where they had not been close to their rivals in the past, they are there or thereabouts in the lower midfield battle, and Albon’s optimism about their chances in the upcoming triple header could pay dividends if they can get more points in the bank.

Time will tell if that is the case, but getting consistently in and around the top 10 will surely be their target for the remaining nine races.