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Williams looks ahead to opening test

NEWS STORY
22/02/2022

Williams heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this week with the recently launched FW44, as Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon get to familiarise themselves with the new car over three days of running.

"The FW44 is very different to previous cars," says Dave Robson, the team's Head of Vehicle Performance, "both in appearance and under the skin, and this will require a fresh approach. Our objectives in Barcelona are to understand the new car and to learn how to optimise it for the range of tracks that we will visit this season. We will also explore the performance potential of the new aerodynamic package and begin the key process of correlating the on-track performance to the wind tunnel predictions.

"We are quite accustomed to testing in Barcelona in February," he continues, "and we know that the overall performance of the car in these conditions is not very representative of most circuits that we will encounter over the next nine months. Therefore, we will be looking to understand the potential of the car and how it responds to changes that we make, gathering data and knowledge that we can call upon during the season.

"As well as the new car and Pirelli tyres, we also welcome Alex to the team. He has been working with his engineers for many weeks now and has settled in very well but there is no substitute for time in the real car and we are very much looking forward to seeing him in action, working closely with Nicholas and developing the crucial bond with the team.

"After our filming day at Silverstone last week, I'm even more excited to get to Barcelona," said Nicholas Latifi. "I'm looking forward to getting a proper measure of the FW44 and what it's capable of, as well as understand how it differs to the previous F1 cars I've driven.

"The goal when we get on track in Barcelona is to learn the car and be prepared as much as possible for the Official Pre-Season Test in Bahrain and the first Grand Prix. It will be nice to finally put the new car through its paces and see all the hard work everyone at the factory has been doing over the winter."

"Barcelona will be our first proper track session," added Alex Albon, "so it will be interesting to see how the new car performs, as the new technical regulations mean we don't have many reference points.

"Across the three days, we'll be focused on data gathering and getting a feeling for the FW44, which means we'll need to be very efficient with our time to maximise the mileage we have. From my side, I'm really looking forward to getting back out on track and familiarising myself with the car."

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