Albon and Latifi lap up first day of 2022 F1 testing for Williams in Barcelona

The Williams Racing F1 Team, partnered by Acronis, kicked off what promises to be one of the most interesting seasons in many a year after completing the first of a three-day test at the iconic Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

As with every pre-season test session, the old adage is always to admire the new car liveries and not to read much into the lap times – each team often running different fuel loads, acclimatising new drivers into the team, and certainly adapting to new regulations.

Following the launch of the striking new Williams Fw44, there is no doubt that it is a beautiful looking machine indeed, as regular Motorsport.Tech expert Craig Scarborough attests, with the aid of former Wiliams F1 Team Manager Peter Windsor.

For the record, it was the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz who topped the times after day one of testing from the British trio of Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. And of the 16 drivers on circuit, it was a good day for new Williams recruit Alexander Albon and teammate Nicholas Latifi, who completed significant mileage of 121 between their respective programmes.

“I’m really happy with my first proper session in the FW44 this afternoon,” commented Albon. “The car felt great and the team here in Barcelona did an incredible job. We got some good mileage in which is really important and a great start to the year.

“The first days on track are usually spent making sure everything is running smoothly and, because it is, we managed to make a start working on the performance of the car. We only have six days testing before the first race, so to be honing in on performance already is a real positive. I’m looking forward to getting back out tomorrow morning!


And for Latifi, getting back down to business with a brand new car and new team mate is something he can’t wait to engage with.

“The first session back in the car after a few months off is always interesting. You can tell it’s a different design philosophy, especially with the tyres, as it was my first time driving the new 18-inch Pirellis,” said the Canadian after day 1.

“Overall, it feels different and there are a few things that, for me, feel quite positive already compared to last year and there are things that need adjusting. But it is still very early days. This morning’s focus was about understanding the systems and the aero platform sensitivities. It was a good day overall.”

Williams Racing uses Acronis technology to add extra layers of protection to its IT infrastructure, protecting hundreds of servers and endpoint devices.

During the 2021 season, Acronis opened up an exciting #TeamUp Program, giving new and existing service providers the opportunity to support sports partnerships, join the sports ecosystem, attend races and enjoy amazing sports marketing benefits. To find out more, please visit

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Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.