Both Williams cars will run the team’s latest upgrades at the French Grand Prix, with Nicholas Latifi being fitted with them for the first time.
Williams introduced an upgrade package at the British Grand Prix two rounds ago, albeit only with sufficient parts to fit one car at a time.
With Alex Albon ahead of Nicholas Latifi in the championship, Albon was given the responsibility of evaluating and fettling in the new upgrades, although he missed out on a chance to do so in race conditions due to being involved in a crash at the start of the Silverstone race.
Following a more successful Austrian Grand Prix, Williams have made use of the two-week gap to produce another set of upgrade parts.
Despite fears Albon’s Silverstone crash could have resulted in Latifi not getting the upgrades for quite a while, both FW44s will be fitted with the upgrades for the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
“Having introduced some new parts to Alex’s car over the last couple of races, we are now in a position where both cars can run with the upgrades,” Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, confirmed.
“Although the weather at Silverstone and the sprint format in Austria were not ideal for testing, we have seen enough encouraging feedback to be confident we have taken a step forward.
“With the weather likely to be warm, dry and stable this weekend, we will look to use Friday’s running to get Nicky up to speed with the new parts and also to continue to understand how best to exploit the performance of the new package.”
With Albon explaining after the race at the Red Bull Ring he felt Williams had made a clear step forward with the package, despite finishing out of the points in 12th place, Latifi said he is eager to get his hands on the upgrades for the first time.
“I’m super-excited to get to France because it’s the first race where I will have the upgrade package,” he said ahead of the Paul Ricard weekend.
“We’ve seen some positive signs from it on Alex’s car so far, so I’m looking forward to getting my first taste.
“Hopefully, it can bring us that extra bit of relative pace we’ve missed and put us more in the fight.
“France has a unique track layout with lots of run-off areas, so track limits might be a bit of an issue, as in Austria. More than anything, I’m looking forward to continuing the development of the car and hopefully we can get some good data going forward.”