Williams reveals striking ‘heritage’ livery for 2024 car2023 was a largely positive year for Williams, as they moved comfortably clear of the foot of the standings. This was a stark contrast to 2022, where the Grove-based side finished 10th by some margin.
Williams scored 20 more points last season than they did in the campaign prior, suggesting that Team Principal James Vowles is making progress.
Since leaving Mercedes to take the position as Williams’ boss ahead of last season, Vowles has been working hard to make the historic outfit a more competitive team.
Albon in particular was exceptional last year and made several appearances both in Q3 and in the top 10 during the races, resulting in Mercedes and Red Bull both reportedly being interested in him.
However, following the launch of their 2024 car – the FW46 – Vowles dropped a bombshell that the Thai-born driver is contracted until the end of 2025. It means that unless a fee is presumably paid, Albon’s short-term future remains with Williams.
Because of this, he’s already looking at what he wants to achieve in 2024 and beyond, with the immediate goal being to get closer to Alpine – the French side finished sixth in the standings last year but were 92 points ahead of Williams.
Bridging gap to Alpine key
“I would say when you look at where we finished last year. we were P7, we did kind of best of the rest, let’s say in that lower midfield section, and we just about held off AlphaTauri, Haas and Alfa Romeo,” Albon told select media including RacingNews365.
“When you actually look at the gap to P6 and P5 there’s still quite a big jump. You know when you actually consider how Alpine did, and then you’ve got a rather substantial gap to the Astons, McLaren and the Mercs, and you’re basically in the top field by that point.
“I want to be fighting in that kind of nipping on the heels of Alpine and that top group.
“I think that’s a realistic performance expectation for us as a team and let’s see how it unfolds because, like I said, we finished P7, but we actually had quite a big gap to P6, and we still have to close and try to overtake.”
Albon’s ultimate goal is to claim podiums and victories for Williams, although he accepts that this is likely off the cards for 2024.
“I want podiums and wins. I think realistically, we won’t be there this year,” Albon admitted. “If it can be regularly in the points, that will be great. I’m also really interested to see how we fare in tracks that we weren’t good at last year.
“So if you think about Monza, the US, Canada, Silverstone, high speed tracks, we know we were going to be good at them and I don’t see how this year will be any different.
“But with the change of approach with our car, we need to be consistent to be that kind of top six, top five team, which we weren’t last year, and I’m very interested to see how we fare on the tracks where we struggled, Monaco, Barcelona, these kind of places.”