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Williams F1 Jeddah Comeback

Vowles Confident: Williams to Unleash Potential in Jeddah

08/03/2024

Williams F1 seeks redemption in Jeddah, following a challenging start in Bahrain. Director James Vowles is optimistic about resolving previous issues.

However, the team’s director, James Vowles, assures that the performance should improve this weekend in Jeddah, provided some of the issues encountered at Sakhir do not recur.

“Absolutely. We fell behind during the winter testing, and this was felt during the first race weekend. The last few days have been spent understanding why we encountered such issues with engine cooling. As for the car itself, we simply have not been able to extract its full potential so far. Therefore, we will focus on this aspect this weekend.”

“In Bahrain, we also experienced an issue with Logan’s steering wheel, which prevented him from being competitive. And with both Alex and Logan, we significantly overheated the engine, meaning we had to stay away from competitors, we couldn’t race, we couldn’t overtake. But I think that, beyond this, we did not get everything right. The main thing now is to come here to Saudi Arabia and ensure we recover everything we can and start moving forward.”

This year, Williams F1 has introduced a brand-new steering wheel to its car, modern in line with what other teams have had for many years already. And Vowles discussed the complexity of integrating such innovation.

“Implementing it is quite easy, but when it comes to the electronics, it’s quite complicated. As with everything on the car, when you start from scratch, slight issues arise. With the current car, we can place it on a site called VTT (Virtual Track Test) to test systems, cooling, radiators. With steering wheels, you can run it on the simulator, but there are no vibrations or the like, and it’s really only when you’re on the track that you can begin to explore some of these features.”

Williams F1 must “show” Albon it can succeed “in the long term”

The transfer market is already heating up for the 2025 season, even though the current season has barely begun. Does Vowles fear losing Alex Albon, who is expected to be courted in the coming months?

“We have a very good relationship with him, and it’s now up to Williams to show him that we have what it takes to succeed in the long term. He enjoys working with me, with the team, he certainly has the desire to move forward, so it’s up to us to give him what he needs for that.”

On the other side of the garage, and as Logan Sargeant just started his second season in Formula 1, Vowles confirmed he now expects much more from the American driver.

“It’s important for him to achieve good results. The only thing I would say is that he’s no longer a rookie. What we need to see from him is that he progresses as we move forward. Logan knows he ended last year starting to build on his base of experience, and he returns here not as a rookie, but as someone who has a year of experience behind him. He needs to build on this experience without making mistakes, without getting it wrong, and continue to progress. And I was pleased with the gap to Alex this Thursday, but the field is so tight now that just a tenth can push you back four or five places from where we are.”

Williams F1 Jeddah Comeback. Williams F1 Jeddah Comeback

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