Formula 1 pundit Lawrence Barretto has backed Williams to defy the odds and secure a podium during the upcoming 2024 season.
George Russell's sensational qualifying lap at Spa in 2021 that secured him a bizarre maiden podium at the rain-impacted Belgian Grand Prix is the last time that Williams had a driver in the top three.
Since then, a Lance Stroll P3 in Baku in 2017 has meant that the team have not taken the chequered flag with a car in the podium places – under normal conditions – for six seasons.
Yet according to Barretto, that could all be about to change.
The F1 pundit has backed the team to take part in the champagne celebrations next season thanks to the leadership of team principal, James Vowles, and star driver, Alex Albon.
Williams to secure an F1 podium in 2024?
"Williams entered the season fearing the worst, having lost their team principal and technical director in quick succession," he penned for the official F1 site.
"But James Vowles steadied the ship, after an impressive stint at Mercedes, and Williams made the most of some sterling development work over the winter and their chunky upgrade introduced in Canada.
"Alex Albon led the team like a lion, scoring 27 of their 28 points to essentially single-handedly guide them to P7 in the constructors’ championship and the chunky slice of prize money – that runs into the tens of millions – that comes with it.
"It was all the more impressive given they didn’t upgrade their car after race eight in Canada – while the three teams that finished below them brought a raft of them all the way to the end of the season – as Williams focused on ploughing resource into the 2024 machine in a bid to making a more sustained step up the field.
"They never had a shot at a podium in 2023 – but I expect that to change in 2024, with Albon continuing his rich vein of form and getting the most out of the car and Logan Sargeant stepping up a level to enable the team to score at least one podium."
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