With pre-season testing getting under way in Bahrain soon, Williams are looking to make sure their cars and drivers are race-ready come the start of the season.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
The new season begins with a three-day test in Bahrain. Although the cars are mostly evolutions of the 2022 marques, there have been updates to the regulations and Pirelli tyres, and there are several driver changes amongst the teams. All this places a very big demand on this single pre-season test.
The FW45 arrives in Bahrain having previously completed a filming day run at Silverstone. We expect to build on this early running and complete significant mileage over the coming days as we continue to prepare the car and the drivers for opening races of the season.
We will share the running time evenly between Alex, who starts his second season with the team, and Logan, who joins the team after an impressive F2 campaign, a strong run in FW44 in Abu Dhabi, and a productive winter of training and simulator work. The drivers will share the driving on Thursday before each enjoys a full day of running; Logan will drive on Friday and Alex on Saturday.
Our primary focus will be on ensuring that the car, team and drivers are race-ready for the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix. We will also be collecting some fundamental data on the FW45 performance, which will aid the ongoing development programme.
The weather this week should be typical for Bahrain in February with pleasant, dry conditions, but with a potentially changeable and gusty wind.
The team in Grove has worked tirelessly for many months and we are looking forward to getting the FW45 on track and continuing its journey towards the 2023 season.
It’s great to be here in Bahrain ahead of pre-season testing, also knowing we now officially have James [Vowles] on board. We had our rollout at Silverstone last week – which was great to get those first laps in – and whilst the conditions at Silverstone are completely different, getting those laps under our belts is still important. Now we’re here in Bahrain for proper testing, we’ll need to adjust to the different conditions, with 1.5 days each to get comfortable with the car. Ultimately, it’s not much, so we need to be proactive in getting the car in a decent place as quickly as possible, which I think we did a good job at last year. Hopefully we have a better base to build off this season, however it’s difficult to comment on at this stage.
I’m super excited for testing in Bahrain. We already had a good feeling in the car at the rollout in Silverstone. I’m really looking forward to diving deeper into what the car is capable of and also getting more comfortable with it from my side. Bahrain is a track that I know well so that brings me confidence going into the test. Hopefully that’ll put us in a good spot ahead of the first race of the season. We’re going to try and make everyone’s efforts and hard work over the winter pay off.