Albon: “Frustrating” for Williams to leave Australian GP point-less after Haas and RB scored big

Photo Credits: Williams Racing
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Alex Albon endured a tough race at the 2024 Australian GP, with his crash against the barriers in FP1 leaving him and the team on the backfoot for the rest of the weekend, as Logan Sargeant had to give up his car in order for the Thai to race. But despite Albon’s best efforts, he could only manage 11th place, and admitted it was “frustrating” given the big points rivals Haas and RB scored.

The team made the decision on Friday night at Melbourne for Albon to race in the one remaining intact chassis, as the team didn’t have a spare one ready after his was damaged beyond repair and needed to be sent back to Grove for further analysis and reconstruction.

Team Principal James Vowles justified the decision by saying it would give Williams the best possible shot at scoring points in a weekend where they thought the car had good potential around the streets of Melbourne. But in the end, that was to no avail, as the car didn’t have the sort of pace required to be in the top 10, even after some big names from the usual runners at the front retired, namely Max Verstappen and the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Russell.

And the Thai driver didn’t hide his frustrations with the end result, openly admitting the team simply didn’t have the speed – and more importantly tyre usage – to join the battle with those ahead and “capitalise” on a day where several front-runners left the fray:

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

Albon did briefly run in the points-paying positions, but that was due to an unorthodox strategy which gave him an early undercut, but would then leave him vulnerable to those behind on newer rubber later on.

Despite his clear frustration with the lack of any concrete results during the weekend, Albon still praised the Grove squad for doing well under the very difficult circumstances they found themselves in after the FP1 incident, and is hopeful the squad can come back stronger next time out in Suzuka, with both cars running well and a more solid foundation to the race weekend:

“It’s been a tough weekend for all of us at Williams,” he said. “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.

“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 my car back and I can give Logan his car.”