Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023 – Practice

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: 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.

Alex Albon: I feel a little bit on the backfoot this weekend but I’m obviously not alone in that, 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.

Logan Sargeant: 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 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 seem to have strong pace in low and high fuel but hopefully our pace is good enough to challenge our competition ahead of the weekend.

Zak O’Sullivan: First and foremost, I really enjoyed today. It was my first time in Abu Dhabi and 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.

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