Williams Racing completes productive three days of testing in Barcelona

The Williams Racing F1 Team, partnered by Acronis, completed a highly productive three days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, drivers Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi lapping a combined total of 107 laps and finishing eighth and ninth fastest respectively.

With water trucks soaking the circuit to give teams had the chance to experiment with wet weather tyres for the first time, it was first runner an Williams new boy Albon who completed the vast majority of laps, lapping the circuit a joint first 94 times with overall pace setter Lewis Hamilton.

“We got some really good mileage in today and managed to maximise the limited testing time we have before the first race of the year,” commented Albon. “Overall, the team have had a very successful few days in Barcelona; the car has been reliable and so we’ve done well to build a very good foundation to work from. It’s still early days and we can’t read too much into lap times, but I think we should be very pleased with how these sessions have gone and I’m looking forward to getting back out in the car in Bahrain.”

Despite posting just 13 laps in the afternoon, Canadian Latifi ended the day only 0.381s behind his teammate, the Williams duo finishing ahead of both McLarens, Fernando Alonso’s lone Alpine, both Alfa Romeos, Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri and Nikita Mazepin’s Haas.

“Today’s running was slightly more disrupted than the first two days with a number of red flags in the morning,” said Latifi after his brief afternoon stint. “However, none were caused by us and we still gained some good learning, especially as we got to experience the intermediate tyres in the afternoon which was valuable. Overall, I think it has been a productive pre-season session in Barcelona.

“We have had a few minor issues here and there but that is par of the course with a new car as it’s a new learning for both the drivers and the team. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to going to Bahrain now and building on everything we’ve learned from this week.”

As ever with pre-season testing, reading too much into lap times is a tricky business indeed with teams running different fuel loads, aero programmes and tyre compounds. Regardless, to be consistently in the mid table on all three days of running is an encouraging start on the face of things.

“We had a strong finish to this first round of 2022 track running,” added Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance. “Although we were held up this morning following some minor damage to a brake duct and some red flags, we managed a smooth afternoon, including our first experience of the 2022 Intermediate tyres, which we were able to share between Nicholas and Alex. As the track dried, we were able to complete the final round of data gathering before completing a sequence of long runs with Alex.

“With the 2021 cars being largely carried over from 2020, it has been enjoyable to once again get to grips with a whole new car. Whilst it has been hard work, the team have worked well together and as a result we have collected a lot of data. This will be used to guide both the next round of car development and the run plans for the crucial test in Bahrain.”

Following the launch of the striking new Williams Fw44, regular Motorsport.Tech expert Craig Scarborough broke down the intricacies of the new car with the aid of former Wiliams F1 Team Manager Peter Windsor.

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 https://www.acronis.com/en-us/lp/msp-sports/

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Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.