It was Alex Albon’s turn to face the media in the FIA’s pre-race press conference on Thursday and our Thai driver was once again in positive spirits.
After picking up a point in Bahrain, AA23 helped secure Williams Racing’s best start to a season in six years and he’s looking to take that momentum into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.
“Yeah definitely, I would say so,” he said, when asked if the team have have made great strides since the start of last season.
“Look at where we were coming into last year and our first race, it was really tricky and we did struggle out there.
“I believe we made it into Q2 [in Bahrain] last year but that was a little bit of a surprise back then.
“So coming into this year - a couple of weeks ago now - to be honest with you, we were slightly on the backfoot going through testing on Friday, but we turned it around on Saturday and Sunday.
“And to get away with a point [in Bahrain] - I think it’s the first time we’ve got points in the first race for six or so years - is definitely something to be very proud of and it’s a great way to start the year.”
Albono was then asked if he was surprised by our competitiveness in the opening race of the season, to which he replied:
“A little bit. In terms of a feeling with the car, it feels quite similar to last year but we’ve definitely made some small steps here and there, and, as they’ve added up, it’s clearly much better.
“So I’m feeling like we’re in a much better place and we know there’s room for improvement as well, which excites me a lot.”
Finally, Alex doesn’t just have a new teammate this year in Logan Sargeant, but also a new Team Principal with the arrival of James Vowles, someone who AA23 believes has already made a big impact.
“James has definitely got the knowledge from Mercedes, he’s obviously a smart guy and he knows what he’s talking about.
“He’s got that winning mentality, he’s got what it takes to win, and that’s something we need right now.
“I think we do a lot of things well and then there are other areas where we can do things differently in the long term, short term and medium term - there are all aspects to look at.
“So I would say he’s only been here for a short while, but listening to what he has to say, he’s bringing a lot to the table.
“Hopefully, that will keep on happening, I would say a lot of it is more long term than short term but I’m excited to see the progress.”
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