Alex Albon expects some wrestling bouts with the Williams FW44, believing the new generation of F1 cars will be “fighting underneath you”.
The London-born Thai driver has been settling in at Williams during these first couple of months of 2022 following his move from Red Bull, where he spent a season-and-a-half as a racer and last year as their reserve and sim driver after being dropped for Sergio Perez.
Moving at a time when the sport’s new regulations are kicking in, Albon feels the lack of continuity of the cars therefore benefits him as all of his rivals are, like he is, essentially starting from scratch.
On the day the FW44 was launched, and had its shakedown at a soggy Silverstone, Albon gave an insight into the work that has been going on behind the scenes to fine-tune the car – one which he feels will prove challenging to drive in competitive conditions.
Taking to the track for the first time 😍
The FW44 is up and running for 2022! 💪 pic.twitter.com/h4ajQkOs3I
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) February 15, 2022
“In the end, most cars, once you get the set-up feeling nice, it’s all just about relative speed through a corner,” said the 25-year-old during an interview with the official Formula 1 website.
“For us, it’s been pretty much driving the first iteration of the car and then just building it up and tweaking it. By this point we’ve spent two months tweaking each corner at every circuit we’ll go to, so it feels great now.
“But after two months in the simulator, of course it will feel different once you hit the circuit.
“Obviously the cars are lower, you can even feel that on the simulator. I think we are going to be wrestling it, it will be fighting underneath you more than it has been in previous years, which in itself lends itself more towards the driver doing a good job and making sure they are able to extract the lap time out of it.”
Albon admitted that despite racing – and winning – in DTM last year, he anticipates having to shed some of the rust from sitting out a whole season of Formula 1.
“I’ve been [at Williams] pretty much since the 1st of January, talking and spending a lot of days on the simulator, but also getting to know everyone,” he said.
“Not in a good or bad way, it’s just different the way teams are, so it’s just understanding the way they do things.
“There’s the feeling there will be a bit of rust to get rid of. I think that reset of new car, new regulations, that goes in my favour – it’s a reset for everyone, so my plan is to hit the ground running as hard as I can.
“Of course, there will still be that little bit to go, but the team have really helped me with that and we are working together trying to make sure we can attack straight away.
“I know I will just get better through the season, as will the car, and we are going together on that.”
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