Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Alexander Albon: “We’ve highlighted the areas our car struggles with by coming here”

Alexander Albon put in another strong performance at the Hungaroring on Sunday, with the Thai driver admitting eleventh place at the chequered flag was a surprising result.

The Williams Racing team were expecting to struggle for performance during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend around a track that usually would not favour their FW45 car, but Albon was still able to fight close to the points.

Albon used the undercut to good use to get ahead of cars that would have driven off into the distance if they were ahead of him, but the fact he was able to finish eleventh bodes well for a car that is likely to be much more competitive on other tracks later this year.

And the fact they were able to highlight just where the car was lacking in performance in Hungary should do them well in similar conditions later in the season.

“P11 is quite a surprising result, it was quite a defensive race which we like to do,” said Albon. “We got track position and we were okay; we came into this circuit knowing it wouldn’t suit us and we qualified where the pace of the car was.

“Clean air is so important around here; even though I pitted early, once I had clean air, I had a lot of laps to bed the tyre in slowly so once I came out and undercut the other cars, I had some grip left and could manage them behind me.

“We’ve highlighted the areas our car struggles with by coming here, so when the car doesn’t feel great, it’s still raceable. To finish P11 and almost make Q2 yesterday, it’s a very good sign, so if we can fix these issues, then we’ll be in a good place across various circuits.” 

“I was pretty happy with how the race was going” – Logan Sargeant

Team-mate Logan Sargeant was on course for a good result himself at the Hungaroring, but a late spin at the chicane at the back of the track saw him drop to the back of the field.

The American racer, who is still searching for his first points of his FIA Formula 1 World Championship career, had been happy with the way his race was going up until the spin, with the team then opting to retire the car to prevent any more damage was done.

Sargeant believes the fact that his team-mate was able to finish close to the points gives everyone confidence that they can fight in or around the top ten next weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, a track where Williams have traditionally shown good pace in the past.

“Honestly, I was pretty happy with how the race was going,” said Sargeant. “I think we got a little bit unlucky with strategy; we had a slow first pitstop which cost us quite a lot, but all in all the pace was pretty good considering it’s a track which should have been quite bad for us.

“For Alex to be knocking on the door of points should give us a nice appetite for Spa, where we should be really strong.”

Logan Sargeant retired late in the day in Hungary after a spin at the chicane – Credit: Williams Racing