Williams Racing ‘in a good position’ heading to Bahrain for F1 season opener

The Williams Racing F1 team, partnered by Acronis, completed a productive three-day test session only a week before qualifying day for the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

With radical new technical and financial regulations in place for the 2022 championship, drivers, team members and journalists alike are predicting one of the most open and unpredictable seasons in many a year.

And with teams running different fuel loads, tyre compounds and qualifying vs race pace runs, reading too much into lap times is a tricky task indeed. Regardless, new recruit Alexander Albon impressed by setting the fifth fastest time of all drivers on day 1 and teammate Nicholas Latifi enjoyed 124 trouble free laps on the final day – the most of any driver in the field.

“We did a lot of good work, learned a lot and did a lot of laps,” commented Latifi. “That was good for me to try to make up the lost mileage from yesterday (Friday) and now there’s a lot of data to go over to see how we can be in the best shape possible for the first race next week.”

For Albon, getting back behind the wheel of an F1 car for a grand prix proper once again is something he is relishing after a year as test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing in 2021.

“Pre-season testing is now finished and next time we’re out on track it will finally be a race weekend! We got some good mileage in over the course of the test and I feel like we’ve ticked all our boxes, despite losing some time on Friday.

“In terms of the car’s performance, I think there’s some more to come from us and I’m excited to keep pushing next weekend and throughout the course of the season to get the most out of the FW44. Overall, it’s been a positive and incredibly valuable test and the team have done a great job, especially in some challenging circumstances.”

Of course, nobody will truly know the true pace of the car relative to the competition until racing gets underway in earnest. And often, as the course of F1 history has dictated, the true picture sometimes doesn’t emerge before the European leg of a long calendar year.

“Inevitably, the test was extremely busy and after the damage done to the car early on day two, we had to make a few changes to the plan,” added Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance. “Although frustrating to lose a lot of track time, we exposed an issue which we have now been able to fix, and we were able to complete 142 trouble free laps on the final day.

“We have a lot to work through over the next few days before we run the cars again here in Bahrain, but we are in a good position as we head into the 2022 race season.”

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/

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.