A contrasting day for Williams drivers on Baku Sprint Saturday

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Photo Credit: Williams Racing

It was an all-new Saturday of racing with a shootout and 17-lap Sprint race for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and a day to be relatively upbeat for Williams Racing.

Alex Albon showed a lot of speed in his Williams to finish P7 in the shootout and narrowly missed out on points as the FW45 showed its top speed strengths on the streets of Baku.

Unfortunately for Logan Sargeant, crash damage in the first segment of the shootout meant the American rookie couldn’t start the Sprint. However, Sargeant can find encouragement from having the pace to make the second qualifying session for two consecutive days after reaching Q2 yesterday and SQ2 today.

Both Williams drivers now turn their focus to tomorrow’s Grand Prix, knowing that points are possible at the Baku City Circuit.

Albon explains his disappointment with just missing out on points:

“It was a great race for us, but we just don’t have the pace compared to them, so unfortunately no reward for today and we’ll shift our focus to tomorrow.

“It’s frustrating to be sitting out of the points in the sprint when P9 in a normal race would mean points and be an excellent result for us.

“We were the best of the rest today, so we can take some happiness from that and know it’s now our job to get closer to the top four,” concluded Albon.

Sargaent looks on the bright side of a difficult say and takes some positives.

“That is our first sprint day of the season done. Clearly it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, but I think there were some good positives to the Sprint Shootout, considering the speed that we had as a team and I feel like we were able to find a better window for me and the car at the start of the session.”

With Albon and Sargaent qualifying P13 and P15 respectively for the main event on Sunday, points must be the target given the nature of the track and the high risk of safety cars.