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Formula 1 Miami GP

Williams finally has its spare F1 car ready for Miami

Williams finally has a spare car available from this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, having been without it so far this Formula 1 season.

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

As a consequence of production delays over the winter, the team had come into the 2024 campaign without a third chassis ready for its drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant.

It was a situation that proved costly at the Australian GP when a practice crash for Albon meant his car could not be used again that weekend, and the team had to make the difficult decision of moving him across to take Sargeant’s machine.

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The completion of the third chassis has not been made any easier by a run of crashes in recent races, but team principal James Vowles has revealed that the situation has now been resolved.

Speaking on stage at a Williams Fan Zone event in Miami, Vowles said: “What I can confirm is, despite all those big crashes we've had at beginning of the year, the third car is all here and it's ready to go as well.

“I hope it stays in a box for the next 18 races!”

Although Williams has delivered a step forward with its FW46 car this year, the squad has yet to score any points as the result of an increasingly tight fight at the back of the field.

Vowles feels, however, that his outfit has not shown anywhere near the potential it feels there is with its 2024 challenger, with progress having not been helped by a run of incidents.

“There's no other words to say it: there is potential but we haven't realised any of it at all,” he said.

James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing

James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing

Photo by: Motorsport Images

“We've had a number of accidents that have been pretty big in the grand scheme of things.

“To lay out what's happened across Australia and Japan, we've lost three floors, three front wings, three rear wings, [and had] three gearboxes completely destroyed. That's normally what you lose in a year, not two races.

“As an F1 team, what we try and do is not build too many of one component, because when you do, you're continuously trying to change it throughout the year.

“We've already got a new front suspension now and we have a new floor coming in two weeks’ time. So, you try not to build 10 of them, you build three or four of them.

“When you lose three of them, that just means you've now got to build three or four more whilst you try and get your stock up. And that put us on the back foot a little bit, I think it's fair to say.”

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Vowles believes that with Williams’ spare situation now more under control, that focus can now shift to bringing upgrades that will lift its speed.

“We didn't bring performance when we should have brought performance, we were just trying to bring the stock back up,” he said. “That's behind us. Now that's gone.

“The start of the season was not where we wanted it to be. But everything gets reset and we move forward from now.

“What I can say is there was a lot of performance potential in this car and a lot more performance coming across the next five or six races. Every race we will just start to bring performance now.”

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