It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for the Williams team and Alex Albon. He missed out on points in Singapore after being hit by Sergio Perez, and his Japanese GP effectively lasted only seconds, with damage from contact during a chaotic start eventually proving to be terminal.
In a 2023 season where points are on offer at a premium with Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin taking the lion’s share, Williams have been scrapping for each one they can get in the fight for seventh in the constructors’ championship.
As it stands they have a reasonable nine-point lead over Haas in that battle, but Albon thinks the biggest threat might be coming from elsewhere – bottom-ranked team AlphaTauri.
AlphaTauri’s raised some headlines of late with the stand-in drives of Liam Lawson, who scored the team’s best finish of the season recently in Singapore, where an upgrade package was introduced.
And while they’re 16 points behind Williams, Albon told media including The Race that his team are keeping tabs on AlphaTauri.
“We rest assured this weekend [Japan], but they were quick in Singapore,” he said. “And they’re going to be quick again in every circuit.
“I think their step has been quite significant, and a little bit worrying.”
With Williams also admitting they’re all-in on next year’s car development and have no more upgrades coming for the FW45, performance director Dave Robson agreed that AlphaTauri are now a threat for regular points.
“I think Vegas will be interesting because it’s new and it’s Vegas,” said Robson when asked about Williams’ potential for points for the rest of the season. “But that said, it is such a big unknown. I’m quite looking forward to going back to Qatar actually, to see how we get on there.
“But I think they’re all going to be reasonably difficult now with the AlphaTauri the way it is. It’s going to be tough to score too many more points.”
Williams might be in a reasonably comfortable position, but they’re certainly looking over their shoulders!
Can AlphaTauri get themselves off the bottom?