Report: Compromised Friday in Abu Dhabi

Published on
24 Nov 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Two red flags in the only representative session hamper progress at the Yas Marina Circuit

Day one at the season finale is complete, and the team are going over what data they have after an interrupted FP2 hampered the only representative practice session of the weekend.
Friday started with Alex Albon freeing up his seat for us to run Zak O’Sullivan and complete our rookie practice sessions for 2023.
The British racer drove well on what was his first outing in Abu Dhabi, completing 28 laps and ending the session in P18, just 1.3s off of the fastest lap time.
Zak completed his first FP1 session.
Logan completed both FP1 and FP2, recording 44 laps across the day, with Alex notching up 20 tours in a condensed second hour.
Successive red flags as a result of accidents for Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg heavily reduced the running time, and both our drivers were only able to record one push lap on softs.
Our results in FP2...
“I feel a little bit on the backfoot this weekend but I’m obviously not alone in that,” Alex shared after wrapping on Friday, adding: “With a group of drivers all in the same situation after sitting out of FP1 and the disrupted FP2 session.
“Realistically, the long run pace is okay and we’re feeling up to speed with this, however, the setup direction is also not easy, so we’ll have to look at Logan’s side of the garage to see what they’ve learnt from today.
“I feel confident in ourselves when it comes to the fight for 7th, so we’ll just focus on our own race and see how we go.”
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Logan continued our reaction by saying: “Most importantly from today, we have a car that seems okay on high fuel but is quicker than where we are on low fuel, so we need to try to close this gap tomorrow in FP3.
“The car feels like we’re in a good place and I feel good, so I’m looking forward to getting some more runs in tomorrow ahead of Qualifying.
“AlphaTauri seems to have strong pace in low and high fuel but hopefully our pace is good enough to challenge our competition ahead of the weekend.”

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Zak reflected on his maiden F1 weekend session by commenting: “First and foremost, I really enjoyed today.
“It was my first time in Abu Dhabi and my first time driving a Williams Racing F1 car.
“I made quite good progress throughout the session, getting on top of the car and the different procedures. Thank you to Williams Racing for giving me the opportunity.
“I can’t wait for the Young Driver Test on Tuesday, to refine some of the things I’ve learnt from FP1 and make some more progress.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, concluded our reaction by saying: “Just when we wanted a quiet, easy FP2, we got two red flags in quick succession.
“This led to compromised run plans throughout the pitlane and cost several drivers – Alex included – valuable track time having given up FP1.
“Notwithstanding the compromised evening session, there were still positives to take from the day.
“Zak drove very well, completed 28 valuable laps and helped us collect some very useful data. We got some of the high fuel work completed in FP1 and FP2, which has given us a good indication of how the tyre behaviour will be on Sunday.
“It is clear what we need to do this weekend and, whilst two of our main rivals have brought significant upgrades to the final race, we have been able to spend our time refining the performance of the FW45 and give ourselves a good base from which to attack the rest of the weekend.
“It won’t be easy to hold 7th place in the Championship, but we will be working hard and have made progress in preparing FW45 for the fight.”
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