Why Albon was not able to solve Williams ‘overheating alarms’


Alex Albon has described how a series of alarms prevented him from making vital changes to his Williams during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Thai driver was in the midfield during a Sakhir race that featured lower temperatures than expected, but overheating was still a problem as a warning flashed up on his steering wheel informing him that the car was “too hot.”

He would go on to finish 15th as Williams started the season point-less, explaining how the FW46 systems work when such warnings are displayed.

“By lap two, I was overheating, on part of Lap 1 I was overheating and losing a lot of lap-time in turning down the engine, clipping and staying away from the cars in front,” Albon told media including RacingNews365.

“I actually think our pace in clean air was okay, but then at the same time, Logan was in for a stop, I couldn’t pit and we lost a lot of time in the stops, pitted maybe four or five laps later than the others, and it just a bit of a messy race.

“There is a priority list [of alarms on the steering wheel] so when the engine overheats, that’s like category one, it is one of the big ones – fuel and overheating have priority over everything else.

“Once you hit those alarms, nothing on your screen is visible, so when the team asked me to do those changes on the wheel, I couldn’t because the alarm was covering the whole screen.

“I couldn’t see what was behind that alarm, which is annoying because you do the changes to fix the changes, so you are in a terrible cycle.”

The works Mercedes squad also suffered with overheating problems, having got its cooling set-up wrong, with Albon intrigued by the possibility of a Mercedes power unit issue.

‘That is interesting, maybe it is a Mercedes thing,” he said when informed of the troubles experienced by George Russell.

“Especially in the midfield, we are in a train for the whole race, so I don’t know how much time we lost, because the clipping down the straights was insane.”

The theory was also put to McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella, whose team use the Mercedes power units, but he quickly dismissed the idea.

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