Formula 1 Racing

Williams ‘needed to capitalise’ on F1 Australian GP attrition

Alex Albon, Williams

The Melbourne race turned out to a huge chance for F1’s bottom five teams, who would normally be finishing 11th at best on pace.

Between the races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia only Haas had managed to score a single point in Jeddah.

But after the retirements for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and both Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, suddenly three points-scoring positions opened up.

RB’s Yuki Tsunoda fully capitalised on their misfortune by finishing eighth, which became seventh following Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso’s post-race penalty. 

Both Haas cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10, leaving Williams, Alpine and Sauber empty-handed after three grands prix.

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Williams’ Albon finished 11th in Magnussen’s wake and said not being able to use Melbourne’s rare opportunity to bank a chunk of points was gutting.

“It’s been a frustrating one because our rivals scored points,” he said.

“We need these races when you have three [cars] of the top teams retiring. You’ve got to capitalise on that and unfortunately, we didn’t.

“We didn’t have the pace on the track that we hoped we would have.

“Every time I had to match the pace of the cars around me I would grain and destroy my tyres. When I could do my own pace, I was okay, but I was about three and a half tenths off the pace.

“We were putting so much front on the car just to try and stop the constant sliding. At some point, the balance is just terrible and you’re sliding on the rears but the fronts are still graining.”

Alex Albon, Williams

Photo by: Williams F1

The lack of reward for the Thai driver’s second 11th place in a row was another gut punch for Williams after fielding only one car in the grand prix, with Albon taking over Logan Sargeant’s car after he damaged his chassis in an FP1 crash.

“It’s been a tough weekend for all of us at Williams,” he added. “I think in some ways we fought through quite well, considering everything that went on.

“The people at the track have really dug deep and as I said it before, it’s not how we want to go racing.

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“Obviously, FP1 was a bad mistake on my side. But under the situation, I felt like qualifying went smoothly and I got almost all of it out of it. The race, we didn’t have the pace.

“I was speaking with Logan always throughout Friday and the issues he had on Friday are the same issues I had on Sunday.

“Hopefully we will come back stronger in Japan. I’ll get…

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