Williams Team Principal Reveals Exciting Plans for Las Vegas Grand Prix
In a recent interview, Williams Team Principal James Vowles expressed his high hopes for the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, stating that it presents one of the team’s “best opportunities” to secure a strong points finish and defend their seventh place in the Constructors’ standings from AlphaTauri. After a disappointing performance at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Williams is determined to bounce back and finish the season on a high note.
During the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Williams’ consecutive points streak came to an end as Alex Albon crashed out of the race in the opening turn, while Logan Sargeant had to settle for 11th place in a race with high attrition. This allowed AlphaTauri to narrow the gap to Williams in the Constructors’ standings, putting additional pressure on the team to perform well in Las Vegas.
Reflecting on their struggles in Interlagos, Vowles acknowledged that Williams failed to adapt to the challenging weather conditions, leading to poor overall balance and high tire temperatures. However, he expressed optimism about the upcoming race in Las Vegas, as it is a track that suits their car’s strengths, particularly its top-end speed capabilities.
Vowles revealed that both Williams drivers, Albon and Sargeant, will be using the advanced specification FW45 in Las Vegas. Despite the significant damage to Albon’s car in the crash at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the team had already planned to switch to the advanced spec for the remaining races. This decision demonstrates their commitment to maximizing their performance and maintaining their position in the standings.
Looking ahead to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Vowles expressed excitement for the event, describing it as a spectacle and a race that suits their car’s characteristics. The track’s efficiency and similarity to circuits like Monza and Spa provide an ideal opportunity for Williams to showcase their strengths and secure valuable points.
Additionally, Vowles noted that the expected low ambient temperatures during the night race in Las Vegas will further benefit Williams’ quest for points. In Brazil, the team struggled with high temperatures that affected tire performance due to excessive sliding. With lower temperatures, Williams hopes to avoid similar issues and capitalize on the improved track conditions.
However, Vowles cautioned that the race in Las Vegas will feature a brand new and very slippery surface. He highlighted the unpredictable nature of tire behavior on such surfaces, creating both opportunities and risks for the teams. Williams may face initial challenges with the softer compound tires, but Vowles remains confident that as the race weekend progresses, they can optimize their performance and potentially gain an advantage over their rivals.
As for their competitors, AlphaTauri’s recent surge in performance has posed a threat to Williams’ position in the championship. The successful integration of Red Bull-style upgrades since Singapore has propelled AlphaTauri forward, enhancing their chances of overtaking Williams in the remaining two races.
Acknowledging the risk, Vowles emphasized that Williams had stopped working on this year’s car months ago, prioritizing long-term development instead. While they face potential challenges in maintaining seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship, Vowles firmly believes in the team’s strategic decisions and their future prospects. Williams’ ultimate goal is not limited to finishing seventh or eighth in the current season but to rebuild the team and return to the forefront of Formula 1.
Vowles highlighted the importance of striking a balance between ongoing updates, system improvements, and preparations for future cars. Williams aims to make significant strides in the 2024, 2025, and 2026 seasons, which requires a transformation that cannot be achieved overnight. As they fight to defend their position in the championship, Vowles expressed his confidence in the team’s ability to overcome obstacles and achieve long-term success.
In conclusion, the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix holds great significance for the Williams team. With their eyes set on maximizing their points haul and maintaining their position in the standings, Williams is determined to seize this opportunity to showcase their performance capabilities. As the season nears its conclusion, the team remains focused on their long-term goals and is prepared to face any challenges that come their way.