Albon credits wind for Williams’ performance in Dutch GP: “Hidden a couple of balance limitations”

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Despite insisting that the Willimas will not perform well during the Dutch Grand Prix, Both drivers managed to get into Q3, and Alex Albon qualified fourth, his best qualifying position since Bahrain 2020.

Alex Albon
Photo credit: Williams Racing

Saturday’s qualifying session in Zandvoort saw changeable weather between a slippery circuit and clear skies; this threw the teams in a loop with their tyre strategies. The Grove-based team, however, has been consistently up in the time sheets throughout the three segments.

When asked about the session itself, Albon expressed his surprise with the team’s performance, saying: “All conditions, slicks, wets, yesterday in the dry, we’ve been quite surprised. Actually.”

“We’re not really known for our high downforce performance, but it’s been working very well this weekend, and it’s been a very nice one to have.”

The team’s concerns about their possible performance in Zandvoort are not unwarranted; the car has had very little drag and downforce – a common trait of their cars in recent seasons. This was made worse by the team’s typically thin wings at tracks.

Nevertheless, the car performed brilliantly in both dry and wet conditions at the high-downforce circuit. The Thai-Brit explained the reason behind their stellar record, saying:

“The wind this weekend is perfect for our car(..); In the corners where we’re normally weak, there’s a headwind, and in the corners where we’re normally strong, there’s a tailwind, it’s hidden a couple of balance limitations that we normally have, (..) it’s been a lot of fun to drive here so far.”

“When you’ve got this headwind, it makes everything feel better, it gives you that front load on the car, and hopefully, that wind’s not changing tomorrow [for the race], I hope.”

Alex Albon
Photo credit: Williams Racing

He added that by experimenting with the wind settings in its simulator preparations, the team had made some effort to anticipate the advantageous conditions, saying:

“Turn 9, Turn 11 have always been terrible corners for us. Corners where we’ve been losing two-tenths each corner. And with the headwinds… half a tenth, maybe. And so, I think that’s helped us a lot. A lot more than normal.

“We actually drove these winds on the simulator. We do play around with it. We knew this wind was good for our car. But we got it, which is nice.”