Alex Albon says Williams in ‘very good place’ after new upgrades

Alexander Albon delivered another solid result for Williams at Silverstone, boosting them up the Constructors’ Standings.

Alexander Albon’s eighth-place finish in the British Grand Prix may not have garnered the same attention as McLaren’s home success, but it had a significant impact on Williams’ standing in the constructors’ championship, elevating them to seventh place.

It was Williams’ best result on home soil since 2015, and Albon expressed his optimism about the team’s performance at Silverstone. 

Despite finishing in eighth, he acknowledged the realistic expectations set for the race, saying, “It’s almost like you’ve finished qualifying somehow disappointed with P8, but we have to be realistic.”

Albon highlighted the team’s strong start to the weekend, with impressive performances in all three practice sessions. 

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However, he noted that other teams caught up by the time of the qualifying session, suggesting that some were potentially sandbagging. 

Despite this, Albon recognised the achievement of their result, mentioning that they were initially aiming for around 15th place.

Qualifying presented its challenges due to the changing weather conditions, with rain affecting the session. 

Albon experienced tire degradation, particularly with the front tires, which impacted his performance. 

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Reflecting on the session, he felt that the car had the potential to get even closer to pole position.

The team plans to analyse their qualifying performance to identify areas for improvement. 

Albon emphasised the importance of understanding both the reasons behind slow pace and fast pace, as they strive for consistency and further progress.

“There’s almost a bit that we understand and a bit that we don’t. We need to kind of reverse-engineer. It’s important to understand why you’re slow, but it’s also important to understand why you’re fast.”

In the race, Albon maintained his starting position thanks to the timing of the Safety Car period. 

He crossed the finish line behind Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. close behind.

Albon admitted that they expected a tougher race after qualifying, considering the threat posed by Alonso and Sergio Perez starting behind them. 

However, he managed to bring the car home, securing Williams’ third points finish of the season.

Despite losing two positions on the first lap, Albon attributed it to a poor start caused by fluid on the track. 

He mentioned that once he settled into a rhythm, the car performed well.

With a long first stint and strategic decision-making during the race, Albon took advantage of the Safety Car period caused by Kevin Magnussen’s retirement. 

He pitted from sixth place and emerged in ninth, enabling him to attack the Ferrari ahead.

“I had better pace than Fernando, which was a bit of a surprise, but then Charles was coming quite quickly at the end,” he added.

“So it was a race of forwards and backwards, one eye forward, one eye back, and it became a bit of a dogfight. I wouldn’t have wanted that race to last one more lap.”

Albon described the race as a constant battle, with him trying to overtake the car in front while defending against Leclerc’s advances from behind. 

The trio crossed the finish line within a second and a half of each other, and Albon acknowledged that if the race had been a lap or two longer, the outcome might have been different.

“I think if it was one lap [longer], Charles would have got past,” Albon said. 

“If it was two laps, Charles would have got past both of us and I would have got past Fernando. 

“That’s my theory.”

The recent races have showcased Williams’ improved performance, with Albon delivering strong results. 

However, he anticipates significant fluctuations in the car’s performance based on different types of tracks and varying levels of downforce.

“I think our highs and lows are quite easy to predict,” he said. 

“I don’t know if McLaren could have predicted their pace this weekend, but I think we can.

“It’s quite clear that tracks where there’s a bit lower downforce and a lot of full throttle time, that’s all us, that’s how we like it. 

“It’s also important that the track remains quite cool. 

“[On Sunday] the track temperature was dropping at the end of the race, which made us a bit more competitive. 

“Also, not much braking [over a lap]. 

“The less braking, the better for us. So Silverstone works out quite well for that.”

Looking ahead, Albon acknowledged that some circuits would suit Williams better than others. 

“We’re still going to have our good circuits and our bad circuits. Spa-Francorchamps, Monza is still our focus.”

He mentioned that tracks with lower downforce and extensive full-throttle sections favour their car. 

The upcoming Hungaroring race is not expected to be as favourable, but Albon emphasised that their focus remains on circuits like Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.

Williams’ recent progress has propelled them to seventh in the constructors’ championship, tied with Haas. 

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Albon expressed confidence in the team’s position and stressed the importance of capitalising on opportunities to score points in the remaining races of the season.

“We’re now P7 in the constructors’ championship, tied with Haas. So we are in a very good place.

“The points aren’t always available, and in the few races where we can score points this year coming up, we’re going to have to make sure we capitalise to stay seventh.”