Alex Albon was left upbeat after his sampling Williams’ upgraded Formula 1 car in practice for the British Grand Prix, believing Q2 is a realistic target with the package.
Williams unveiled a revised FW44 on Friday at Silverstone that it hopes can elevate it further up the grid, as it currently sits bottom of the constructors’ championship.
The car has undergone a series of changes from the wings, floor, engine cover and suspension, with the most notable modification being the sidepods which are similar to Red Bull’s concept.
Due to limitations of parts, Albon’s car has been fitted with the new upgrades for this weekend, while team-mate Nicholas Latifi won’t get his hands on them until the French Grand Prix.
Speaking after the opening two practice sessions that were varied in track conditions, Albon was encouraged after running the updates in anger for the first time.
“It felt okay,” Albon said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “It was different. It is tricky because everyone didn’t get much running in FP1, and when you have an update, you require mileage, and we haven’t had much track time today.
“We had a slight issue as well at the end of FP2, so didn’t do a proper long run. We did maybe six or seven timed laps, but every time we were on track, at least, we were looking pretty strong. It’s good.
“Sometimes updates require a big setup change and although we do need one, there are still things to work on, it should be hopefully achievable overnight to get the car in a better window.”
Albon has been Williams’ sole points scorer so far this season, finishing twice in the top 10 in Australia and Miami.
As its rivals have developed their packages, Williams’ form has dropped over recent races, but Albon reckons the improvements can thrust the team back into midfield contention.
Asked what his realistic expectations were for the remainder of the weekend, Albon said: “Hopes are we get the car in a good window, and we can get the balance in a place where I can use the car and push it. Plus if I can get confident in it, then that’s in itself a good achievement.
“Of course, if you look at it on a more ones and zeros point of view, in terms of position, Q2 would be an obvious target for us. So it’d be a sensible place to hope for.”