Only Aston Martin improved more than Williams from 2022: Alex Albon

The only other team to lap more than a second quicker than they did the previous year was Aston Martin.

Alex Albon in a file photo (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Mar 8, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Alex Albon described the Bahrain Grand Prix as a difficult race but he was happy to finish in the top ten and pass Alpine, who finished six positions ahead of Williams in the 2022 standings. Albon moved up from 15th on the grid to earn a point for Williams in the opening race of a season for the first time since 2017. This was made possible by the streamlined design of the Williams FW45, which gave Albon a faster straight-line speed than many of his on-track competitors. His best lap at Bahrain in 2022 was 1.265 seconds slower than his fastest lap of the weekend. The only other team to lap more than a second quicker than they did the previous year was Aston Martin.

“The wind made the cars I think for everyone much more disconnected than yesterday,” said Albon. “So to have the pace we had under the circumstances, I have to say I’m super proud.” “Everyone I’m sure is looking at the Aston Martin right now on the podium and thinking what a step they’ve done. But we’re second [in lap time gain since 2022]. Where you look at us from last year to this year in this position, 12 months on, I have to say we’ve done an amazing job.”

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When asked if Williams could score regularly in 2023, Albon said, as per RaceFans, “I believe so. I wouldn’t have said so coming into this weekend. But after this weekend, who knows anymore? We qualified out of position. We should have qualified higher up. The fact that we were racing the Alpines is a great sign. We had our elbows out. I enjoyed my overtake on Esteban.”

Alonso reacts to podium in Bahrain

Following the team’s successful conversion of the hype surrounding their testing and practise performances at the Bahrain International Circuit, Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin finished the 2023 season opener on the podium in spectacular fashion. Alonso qualified fifth fastest, trailing only the Red Bull and Ferrari cars, but he used his characteristically tenacious racing style and the retirement of Charles Leclerc to move up to third place during the race on Sunday night.

“It’s a perfect start for this project. We didn’t expect to be that competitive. I think the aim in 2023 was to get in the mix with the midfield, maybe leading that midfield and get close to the top three teams eventually,” he said after the race. “Even a podium maybe was not on the radar in 2023, and we found ourselves with the second best car today in Bahrain, of the whole weekend, just behind Red Bull. This is a little bit of a surprise, but we are extremely proud, happy with the job done at Silverstone in the factory.”