Williams diagnose Mercedes PU issue which wrecked Alex Albon’s Singapore FP2

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Albon drives Gulf-liveried Williams. Singapore, September 2023.

Alex Albon drives the Williams FW45 in its special Gulf livery. Singapore, September 2023.

Alex Albon is now on the back foot in Singapore after what Williams has confirmed as an ERS failure ruined his FP2 session.

With only around 20 minutes of the second one-hour practice session gone, Albon began reporting a loss of power as Williams called him back to the pits to investigate.

And as Albon exited the FW45 cockpit shortly after, the signs were not good.

Alex Albon sidelined with ERS issue on Mercedes engine

The Anglo-Thai driver did not appear again in the session, with Williams later confirming that an ERS fault forced an early end to Albon’s Friday running, the team now preparing to change the component in time for FP3 on Saturday.

The issue meant that Albon missed out on his race simulations ahead of Grand Prix Sunday at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“We opted to do some testing with Alex in FP1, expecting to complete the race preparation during FP2,” said Dave Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance.

“Unfortunately, an issue within the ERS system of the PU meant that we had to end his FP2 after just a couple of laps on the hard tyre.

“We’ll fit a different module to Alex’s car overnight and look to make up for lost time during FP3.”


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While Albon was attempting to stay positive despite the disruption to his Friday running, he admitted that lost track time was far from ideal, considering the need for drivers to build-up their confidence to truly ace the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“We think the issue is battery related; I started my lap and it felt okay but then I just started to lose deployment as I went on the straight,” Albon explained.

“I think we already know the problem so it shouldn’t be too long to fix but around here you want the mileage because it’s such a confidence building circuit.

“Aside from the issue, the car hasn’t felt too bad and I don’t believe we’ll suffer from any penalties, but we’ll have a proper look tonight.

“With the temperature of the car here this weekend and the lack of running time, we’ll have to do a little bit of guesswork tomorrow, but it should be fine going into FP3 tomorrow.”

While Albon’s team-mate Logan Sargeant propped up the FP1 standings, before finishing the second session P19 ahead of only the stricken Albon, Robson reflected on the day as a more successful one of their under-pressure rookie as he got important laps under his belt.

“Logan had a more successful day and completed his plan without any issues,” said Robson. “He got some good experience of this tricky circuit under his belt and he was able to get a good sense of how to trade low and high-fuel performance at this track.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to improve the car, but we know what we are looking for and we’ll certainly be able to make some progress.”

A great deal of progress is needed though it seems for Albon to extend his points-scoring streak into a third successive race, having arrived in Singapore off the back of P8 and P7 results at Zandvoort and Monza respectively.

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