Alex Albon was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the hard tyres after his mammoth stint that helped him score a point at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
The Thai-Brit was disqualified from qualifying on Saturday after he ran out of fuel at the end of Q1, but he waited 57 laps to pit, stopping onto Softs for the final lap of the race, and he re-joined in P10.
His pace was nothing short of magnificent on old hard rubber, and he was told by Paul di Resta that he almost wiped out one or two people in the pit lane during his visit to the pits.
“Oh did I? Oh okay, we’ll ignore that,” he replied with a chuckle.
The picture looked relatively glum for Williams as Albon started last, two positions behind team-mate Nicholas Latifi, but his recovery was immaculate.
“It was good, it was a hard one. We fought hard and it was like qualifying for 30 laps for us,” he told Sky Sports.
“I don’t know what it is about that tyre, but that Hard tyre suits us every time we put it on, and of course P10 seems unimaginable to us.
“When you come into your race strategy meeting, it’s P19 and P20, and we had a big chunk to P18 but it worked.”
After his stop heading onto the final tour of the track, the 26-year-old needed to fend off the Alfa Romeo was Zhou Guanyu, and he indicated that a slightly delayed stop might have disarmed the Alfa Romeo driver slightly as he exited the pits.
“We had a slow stop, I think the front left was a little slow but it almost suited us because I came up right alongside Zhou and so he couldn’t switch back or he couldn’t get a run on me into Turn Three so that was a plan,” he joked.
“It was there but we just didn’t use the tyre that was graining up, we used the Hards.
“It was a bit of a unknown tyre at the time, and because we weren’t graining we just left it on for the whole time and I was just going quicker and quicker as the fuel load was coming off.
“It was just getting faster so it’s almost one of those things, we have to understand why are we good on that tyre compared to the others, but at this rate we just need to bring 10 sets of Primes [Hards] to the weekend and just qualify, race do everything on it!”
Williams’ result means that Aston Martin are now the only team not to manage any points thus far in 2022, following a P12 for Lance Stroll and a crash for Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne.