Williams‘ difficult start to the 2023 Formula 1 season continued in Barcelona, with the team, having only scored a single point this year so far courtesy of Albon‘s 10th place finish in the season opener in Bahrain. This is in stark contrast to the same point in 2022 where the team already had three points, out of a total of eight for the whole season. Despite this, the team has closed the gap to the front-running Red Bull team by 0.74 seconds over an average 90-second lap thanks to the ‘supertimes’ metric, which records each team’s fastest lap during a race weekend. Williams has managed to remain between the seventh and eighth-fastest teams for the four rounds leading up to the Monaco GP before Barcelona, in which it fell back to the bottom of the pile.
One reason for this performance is the fact that Barcelona represents a more typical location than the street circuits that have been prevalent at the start of the season. Albon believes the current car package is lacking the downforce required to compete in such a setting. Despite a competitive start to the campaign, Albon confirmed that Williams is revealed as the slowest team in the championship, with the Williams FW45 still deemed to be the 10th-fastest car. Albon, who finished 16th in Spain, admitted that the lack of street circuits plays a role, as they reward confidence and driving ability. He said that arriving at a more traditional circuit like Barcelona makes it apparent that the Williams team has some catching up to do.
He remains optimistic with the promise that upgrades are coming for his car which is hoped will lead to a higher degree of competitiveness in the midfield. The team’s remaining focus is to maximise the car that they possess, particularly as its rivals continue to design their vehicles around typical circuits like Barcelona. He conceded that it was challenging to make up the gap as evidenced by the high competitiveness in qualifying, where a mere 0.78 seconds covered the second through the 19th position. Albon affirmed that despite the current struggles, he is content with his individual performance and praised his team for doing a good job so far under difficult circumstances.