Williams ‘on the case’ in catching the pack

Date published: February 24 2022 - Henry Valantine

Williams boss Jost Capito is interviewed. Barcelona February 2022.

Williams team principal Jost Capito says the team are making good progress in Barcelona, particularly in understanding the tyres – after they missed last season’s Pirelli testing.

Williams could not provide a ‘mule’ car for the Pirelli in-season testing in 2021, which meant they were the only team not to have experience of running the new 18-inch construction before driving at Barcelona this week.

But the team have already put significant mileage into the FW44, completing more than 100 laps on each of the first two days of pre-season running – showing the car’s reliability as Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi entered Formula 1’s new era behind the wheel.

An electrical issue halted Albon’s running for a period on Thursday morning, but Capito has been encouraged by the amount of work Williams have been able to do so far.

“It’s very busy and I think it’s good,” Capito told Formula1.com. “We have to get the mileage in the cars and yesterday (Wednesday) we did quite a good number of laps, and today also reasonable – it could have been a bit more.

“We had a small issue that took quite a while to fix, but we are on the case and for us it’s these three days to get as much data as possible.

“Especially on the tyres as we didn’t make the tyre test [at the] end of last year, so we are a bit behind on this.

“So that’s why just collecting data and doing the most number of laps is important.”

The teams’ development race has been a much-discussed facet of how the season will unfold, with every team watching everyone else to see who has successful elements on different parts of their cars.

But now there is a spending limit for the season in Formula 1, Capito said there is a difficult balance to strike with how the team will spend their money.

 

“It’s difficult to say,” he said of the team’s development prospects. “It’s not just the pure development speed you could do, because of the cost cap you have to be very careful where you spend your money.

“All the money you spend on additional parts you cannot spend on development, so I think it will be important to see how the different teams manage that, the number of parts and having the development.

“I think as the first year of the new regulations there has to be a steep development curve – I think that is natural for all new products – and that all has to be managed within the cost cap. That’s the tricky bit.”