Williams: Better balance, but not quick enough

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Williams team boss James Vowles has conceded that the Grove-based outfit has slipped down the pecking order, but he is hopeful that his team can address FW46's deficits in the coming races.

Following a strong 2023 season when Williams scored points on a regular basis courtesy of Alexander Albon, the Grove-based outfit finds itself in a much more difficult situation this year. The British squad currently lacks outright pace, and has not shown any real strengths so far this season.

While its predecessor displayed impressive speed on tracks with long straights or full-throttle sections, the team's 2024 F1 car, the FW46 has lost this strength, and has not gained the increase in downforce in medium- and high-speed corners that the team had hoped for ahead of the season.

After the Miami F1 round, team boss James Vowles explained that the FW46 is a clear step forward in terms of braking stability after its predecessor was prone to front-locking.

“So last year’s car had a very significant front-locking problem. If you just very much hit the brakes just a little bit too hard, you would front-lock and miss the apex by a long, long way, and that doesn’t appear any more. That’s gone."

Vowles said that the FW45's pace was dependent on the track characteristics. By contrast, the FW46 displays more consistent performance on tracks with different nature, but it simply lacks pace compared to cars of the midfield rival teams.

"The specificity of the track was high last year. In other words, there were tracks where it was very, very performant, and other where it was very poor. This year’s car is actually a lot more balanced across near enough all tracks.

"But we’re not quick enough. In part, that’s a development race that we have fallen behind on, and we will catch that back up over the next few races, but also in part, it’s another characteristics of the car that we’re working on. And, I hope across Imola, Monaco and Canada, we should be addressing that.”