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Why Albon believes Williams can claim to be 'second best' team

Alex Albon secured 10th place for Williams in Bahrain and believes the team are second best in a crucial metric.

Alex Albon has claimed that Williams are the second-best Formula 1 team in 2023 in terms of improvements made from 2022. Albon claimed one point for a 10th place finish in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix having felt a Q3 slot was strongly on the cards before a broken front-wing halted his challenge. The Thai driver secured the point on merit, having been running on the fringes of the top 10 for the entire race, but would not have scored had Charles Leclerc not retired. On an encouraging weekend for the Williams team and new boss James Vowles, Albon believes they are only behind Aston Martin in terms of year-on-year development.

Albon's Williams claim

"To have the pace that we had under the circumstances, I have to say that I am super proud," Albon told media, including RacingNews365. "I am sure that everyone is looking at Aston Martin right now on the podium and thinking: 'What a step they've done.' "But we are second. Where you look at us from last year to this year, in this position 12 months on, we've done an amazing job, and of course, we're reliable and that helps, but we've got points at the first race.

'A different character' in car design

Williams finished the 2022 season last in the standings with just eight points having struggled with the new ground effect rules. Team boss Jost Capito, technical director FX Demaison and Head of Aero David Wheater all departed the team in the off-season with the latter two roles yet to be filled. Despite this, the new car seems to be in the midfield tight, where Albon believes the team's "different character" in car design could help. "We need to address our weaknesses, that is the main thing," he said. "We know in terms of downforce, we know where our advantage is, we kind of have a different character to most people: we are slippery on the straights and less quick in the corners. "But we are making it now - and we've got to do what is good for our car right now until we dial out some of characteristic problems. "That's going to take possibly a little bit longer, but for now, the short term, we know where we can improve, that's there's lap-time we can get out of it."

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