In an overall productive three days at the Official Pre-Season Test in Bahrain, Williams Racing completed 258 laps in preparation for the new season.
Alex Albon was in the FW44 on day one and made the most of his allotted eight hours, completing multiple programmes during his 104 tours of the 5.412km circuit, with only one other Formula One driver completing more on Thursday.
The Thai racer backed this up with a further 18 laps on Saturday to complete a positive pre-season and is now itching for the new campaign to kick off, saying:
“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.”
Nicholas Latifi took charge of proceedings on Friday, but suffered a fire on the rear of the car which restricted his running to just 12 laps.
The Canadian was quick to deploy his firefighting skills, helping the marshalls to extinguish the flames, but the damage caused meant he was unable to take any further part.
However, after some excellent work by the team to repair the FW44, Nicky was able to get back behind the wheel today where he recorded 124 laps and after hopping out of the car, our No6 reflected on it all: “It was obviously not a fully ideal test, specifically with the issue we had on day two, but I think the team did a great job of coming together to make the most of day three.
“There was a lot of good teamwork from both the day and night crew to get the car repaired and all the engineers pulled together to put us in the best position to maximise day three.
“We did a lot of good work, learned a lot and did a lot of laps. That was good for me to try to make up the lost mileage from yesterday 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.”
Despite a not so ideal Friday, the three-day test provided further opportunities to get the miles in, further develop the car and remedy any issues, as our Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson summed up: “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.
“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.”
And as the chequered flag fell earlier this evening, so concluded the last chance all the teams got to ready themselves for the new season.
Next up, it’s the real thing as we return to the Bahrain International Circuit next weekend for the 2022 season opener, and we can’t wait.