Last year’s FW45, which Albon guided to eight point finishes as the team climbed from last to seventh in the constructors’ championship, proved particularly weak through low-speed changes of direction, under braking and through longer-duration fast corners.

But speaking on the second day of pre-season running in Bahrain, Albon reckoned Williams had worked to rectify many of the significant shortcomings from last year.

The Thai-Briton was 17th fastest and completed 40 laps on the opening morning before stopping on track with a fuel pump fault, while team-mate Logan Sargeant fifth was in the afternoon before his stint was curtailed by a driveshaft issue.

Albon, who acknowledged that the 2024 car had introduced new problems of its own, said: “We haven’t done so many laps but, generally, the feeling is good.

“We had a big task last year trying to focus on this year’s car, trying to get rid of some of the issues that we’ve been having consistently throughout last year.

“We seem to have a couple of corners at this track, actually, that really highlight the problems.

“It’s nice to know that we have fixed a lot of the problem areas from last year. But there are some new things that we have to iron out. So, part of the learning curve. But it’s going well so far.”

Alex Albon, Williams Racing at the Press Conference

Alex Albon, Williams Racing at the Press Conference

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The new issues seem to relate to wayward car balance, as acknowledged by both Albon and team-mate Sargeant.

The difficult, tight, downhill, off-camber Turn 9 and 10 sequence at the Bahrain circuit is known to expose chassis flaws.

When asked how Williams might fare in the opening races of the new season, Albon reckoned that the team was going to hit the ground “jogging” as opposed to ‘running’.

He continued: “What’s clear is it’s going to take a while to get there.

“I do think that everything driving-wise, set-up-wise, it’s a totally different car to understand.

“I don’t think we’re going to hit the ground running, but we can hit the ground jogging and have a good few races hopefully and get onto the points areas relatively soon.”

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