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Williams

Vowles confident Williams has banished 'spiteful' F1 car

Williams enters the new Formula 1 season in an inspired position having finished seventh in last year's Constructors' Championship.

Albon winter testing Bahrain Day 1
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To news overview © XPBimages

Williams Team Principal James Vowles has expressed confidence that his squad no longer has a “spiteful” car for the new Formula 1 season.

Last year, which was Vowles' first at the helm of the team, Williams was competitive at a handful of events - particularly those featuring long straights which allowed the Grove-based outfit to utilise its straight-line speed.

However its pace at a series of other tracks saw it linger towards the bottom of the pecking order, making the FW45 car an inconsistent challenger.

Williams has focused on making its successor a more competitive machine across a wide range of circuits, which Vowles is confident has been achieved.

“I’m happy that what we developed over the winter was moving away from a car that had the odd race where it was competitive, but it was very spiteful,” Vowles told media including RacingNews365.

“It was a car that you just brake half a metre too late and it's off the track, you couldn't get it back on again, fundamentally.

“What we worked on from a car that almost everyone here could predict where it's going to be quick, we should have a car now that's hopefully competitive at 24 races instead.

“That was really the movement towards it. In the simulator, and in simulation, it certainly moved that way.”

Vowles expecting large steps

The FW46 made its on-track debut during the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on Wednesday.

Although it had a teething issue with Albon suffering a fuel pump problem, Vowles was left encouraged by the early signs as he expects major steps forward from several teams.

“It looks directionally correct,” he said. “But there's a lot of work to be doing.

“I think also what's clear, yes, there's convergence to the field but the development rate up and down is extraordinary.

“As a result of that, I think you're going see big, big steps up and down the field, even that large development may not translate to large steps in performance.

“In many regards, I'd be happy with that, because what I'm doing is transforming what's happening for the future rather than today.”

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