Jost Capito says he is pleased that his Williams Racing team has achieved a top ten finish in only the third round of the 2022 Formula 1 season, and he says the whole team deserve it for the hard work they’ve been doing to give the drivers a competitive FW44.
Alexander Albon scored a tenth-place finish in the Australian Grand Prix in just his third start with the team to ensure Williams scored one point, although Nicholas Latifi did not have the same kind of performance as he ended down in sixteenth.
Capito, the CEO and Team Principal at Williams, says Albon’s race performance proved that anything is possible, and nothing is over until the chequered flag, and it should give the team motivation going forward.
“To get a point early in the season is good for the team and I’m extremely happy for everyone – the team deserved this,” said Capito. “We’ve had a difficult start to the season, and even yesterday was difficult, but that’s the good thing about racing – things can change on the Sunday and it’s not over until it’s over.
“If you keep pushing and always stay motivated, keep the team alive and believing in itself, then fortunes can change.”
“This was an excellent result for the entire team” – Dave Robson
Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, praised the way Albon performed throughout the fifty-eight lap-race at Albert Park, with his tyre management seeing him run on one set of Pirelli’s hard tyres from the start right until the start of the final lap when he made his mandatory pit stop.
Albon ignored the chance of pitting behind the safety car, and ultimately the gamble paid off as he took advantage of the degradation of others on the medium compound to jump ahead of them and stay ahead of them when he exited the pit lane.
“Alex drove brilliantly today and found a sweet spot on the Prime tyre, which gave him good pace and, crucially, much less degradation than many other cars,” said Robson. “He completed a very long stint and we ignored several opportunities to pit under safety cars, hoping that something might happen to allow us to keep as many of the gains as possible.
“In the end, the degradation of cars behind and difficulty in overtaking gave us a small opportunity to run until the very end and pull a gap big enough for a pitstop. Under huge pressure, the pit crew were very good, and Alex was quick enough on the out-lap to secure tenth place.
“After the ups and down of the previous two days, this was an excellent result for the entire team.”
Robson says they will need to look into the reasons why Latifi could not find the same kind of performance as Albon in the same car across the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with the need to find out whether or not it was due to the car or driving style that the Canadian did not match the Thai driver.
“Nicholas had a more difficult race following a very different strategy to Alex,” he said. “We wanted to spend a lot of the race on the Prime tyre with both cars, but we chose to get Nicky’s Option stint done early in the race rather than put him on the riskier strategy that Alex followed.
“Nicky found the opening stint on the Option difficult and showed degradation like most of the field. His pace on the Prime was better, but he still couldn’t quite match the degradation of Alex.
“We need to understand if differences in the car and driving style contributed to this, and this will be the main focus of our work as we prepare for the next race in Imola.”