Alex Albon admits car has a ‘huge influence’ on performance

McLaren went from struggling to get out of Q1 to becoming podium contenders "overnight" thanks to a huge upgrades package in Austria.

Alex Albon has insisted that in Formula 1 the “car still has a huge influence” on performance, with him using McLaren as an example.

In his second season with Williams, Albon has performed brilliantly to the point that he’s helped the Grove-based team get into seventh in the Constructors’ Championship with two races remaining.

He’s very much the team’s leader, given that rookie Logan Sargeant has scored just one-point compared to Albon’s 27.

The British-born Thai driver is back to his best and looking strong, although he does admit that he’s been given a much better car this year.

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Albon stresses that the team itself is the “most important part of the equation”, something which is evident at McLaren.

The Williams driver notes how McLaren weren’t scoring any points in the first half of 2023 but are now suddenly second in the pecking order and securing podiums at virtually every round.

McLaren’s dramatic change in form happened at the Austrian Grand Prix, where the Woking-based squad introduced a huge upgrades package.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have driven excellently all year but it’s only since the team’s upgrades that this has really been recognised.

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It does raise a question which has been asked from time to time; how much is a performance down to a driver and how much is down to the car?

“I’m definitely driving better than last year,” Albon told the French magazine Auto Hebdo, “simply because I have more experience and I’m more settled into the team.

“But obviously, in our sport, the team is the most important part of the equation. Look at McLaren. Lando (Norris) and Oscar (Piastri) are having a wonderful season, they’re driving so well, and yet they had almost no points at the start of the year.”

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Albon went onto recognise that Norris and Piastri having “changed drastically in themselves” this season, with them having simply gone from struggling to make Q2 to podium contenders “overnight”.

“They both found themselves in the top 3 overnight without having changed drastically in themselves,” Albon insisted.

“The car still has a huge influence on a driver’s perception in F1. And this is also the case for me.”