“The visibility is worse”: Concerns shared by both Williams drivers over the 2022 car may cast doubts over the point of the new regulations

Ashmit Dyes
|Published February 16, 2022

Williams drivers share their concerns over the visibility the new cars provide after their Silverstone shakedown.

The new regulations introduced by Formula 1 are meant to revolutionise the way cars race. The new regulations will now provide a clean slate to the teams. Essentially, the 2022 season has brought all the teams to level pegging on paper.

But with the new mandates on the construction of cars, new challenges are bound to arise. Both the Williams drivers, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi have identified one such major challenge.

Williams Racing unveiled the FW44 and put it out on the track the very same day. After putting in a few laps, both drivers had a worrying observation to share with the media. It appears that the new chassis and wheel placement has made visibility more difficult than before.

“The visibility is worse in some corners. It just depends on the kind of corner – how much steering, how you’re steering into the corner, and where your gaze is going,” said Latifi immediately after his run in the new car.


Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/NicholasLatifi/status/1493662907871240197?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

“So I think that’ll just be something that everyone has to get used to. [There’s] definitely instances where you’ll see less, for sure.”

Also read: Williams explains why they removed Ayrton Senna logo from their new car

Street Circuits just got a whole lot more challenging

Street circuits are becoming an increasingly important part of the Formula 1 calendars. While Singapore and Australia’s Albert Park are set to return, the addition of Miami brings up the tally of scheduled street circuits this year to six.

Williams’ newest driver Alex Albon shed more light on this apparent visibility issue and explained how street circuits will become an even bigger challenge from now on.

“I think we’re going to struggle more when we go to street tracks. When we come towards Monaco, Baku, Jeddah, they’re going to be the tricky ones because, on open tracks, you can see far ahead of you.” said the Anglo Thai driver.

“With the blind spots of the tyre and all the deflectors, it takes away a lot of that immediate view as you’re looking into the corner.”

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/alex_albon/status/1493710329741774853?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

“So what you end up doing is you’re actually looking further around the corner which, on-street tracks obviously, [once you go] past a wall, there’s only more wall, so you can’t see much around it – I think that’s going to be the tricky one.

Albon highlighted another drawback. One that might even be at odds with the whole reason as to why the new regulations were introduced.

“Also combat driving, that’s also going to be something a little bit trickier – to see where you are, where the front wing is, where your tyres are. That might be a little bit more tricky.”

Also read:  Fernando Alonso believes 2022 cars would not be hard to drive

Both drivers are still not sure what the Williams car is fully capable of

This is the second year in a row that the shakedown has taken place in the wet weather at Silverstone. This is something that bothers Nicholas Latifi.

Wet conditions mean that neither of the drivers is able to really push the cars to their limit. 

“It’s wet, the full Wet tyres still don’t offer a lot of grips. It’s really tricky to get any kind of proper feeling of the car. It definitely feels very different from the last year; it feels like you’re driving a heavier car.”

“But, beyond that, I was nowhere near the limits. We’re just making sure everything’s running, making sure the seat is comfortable, and any little adjustments we want to make on that. So, besides that, I’m not really reading too much into anything else that I felt.”

Williams is hoping to build on the momentum of a fabulous 2021 season. Will the team be able to push more towards the front of the grid this year? We will only get to know once the official time charts are available at Barcelona’s Pre-season test.

Also read:  Ferrari are facing a set-back in terms of the aerodynamics of their 2022 car

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