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Albon: I "had to bite my lip" on overweight Williams F1 car

Williams Formula 1 driver Alex Albon says he had to bite his lip while his team's progress has been masked by an overweight chassis.

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

As it ran late with the production of its 2024 launch car, Williams started the season with a chassis that was significantly overweight.
And while Williams had already taken 14kg out of the car over the off-season, its 2024 FW46 was still four, five-tenths per lap slower than it should have been.  
A revised floor and other parts took some weight out on Albon's side of the garage from Imola onwards, while team-mate Logan Sargeant is still waiting for the lighter floor.
Albon says it was hard to keep quiet about the weight issue until team boss James Vowles unveiled it to the press in Imola, with an obvious discrepancy between the general progress Albon felt Williams had made and its disappointing results so far, a large part of which is down to the excess weight.
"It was hard because you guys were asking me what the difference was with last year's car and I was telling you it's better, but we were running around in P19 and P20," Albon said in Montreal.
"I kind of had to bite my lip a little bit, but it was mostly down to it. There are still things in our car that we need to improve, I'm not denying that, but it was always very hard to answer your questions."
Albon said that despite the Imola upgrades his car is still overweight "by a good amount", which has not been punished as much by recent circuits.
Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

In Monaco, Albon collected Williams's first points in ninth, while he was on course for another top 10 finish in Canada until being collected by a spinning Carlos Sainz.
"We're still overweight and by a good amount," Albon said. "Monaco I think is the least sensitive to weight and Canada is the fourth least sensitive to weight, so good tracks.
"Barcelona goes the other way, so we just need to make the most of these moments until the weight does come out of the car. There's a big push to try to get it on weight before the end of the season but it is going to be tough."
As Albon suggested, next week's Spanish Grand Prix at the high-downforce Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya might be a sterner test for the Grove-based squad.
He believes the new maximum downforce rear wing introduced in Monaco will stand the team in good stead but isn't "expecting magic" from what has historically been one of Williams's weaker circuits.
"Barcelona will just be about trying to optimise our car. It's max downforce, which is similar to Monaco, so our big rear wing works quite well. It's quite efficient," he explained.
"I'm not expecting some magic switches [in the pecking order], I'm just hoping we've got a car that's a bit more consistent.
"Barcelona has predominantly been one of the worst circuits for us. I know we say that about a lot of tracks, but it really is one of the worst ones.
"I'll be interested to see if we're okay in Barcelona now or maybe we're actually good."
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