Alexander Albon made a decent start in F1 Belgian GP and eventually maintained his position all-through to take a point away.

Already in qualifying, Williams’ Albon did a solid job to be in the Top 10 for F1 Belgian GP start. The penalties to others meant he started well inside the Top 10, but at the start of the grand prix he lost a place to McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

However, Albon fought back to retake the place later in the race. Naturally, with the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc regaining ground, the Thai racer was left to fight for the lower half of the Top 10 against similar paced drivers.

He lost to Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel as well, but towards the end held off train of cars involving Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou Guanyu for most part of the grand prix. Ricciardo did join towards the end, when the pace started to slow down.

For Albon, it was a huge task to defend from several cars but he helped by the fact that Williams car is curiously very difficult to pass even with the DRS due to its straightline advantage. And none of the cars behind had larger pace to sneak through.

Albon didn’t make any mistakes either and by the end, the Thai racer was pretty chuffed to keep them at bay and score a nice point. “It was a tricky one out there,” said Albon to media. “After the start, I was like, ‘it’s gonna be a long race.’ I could already feel it on the laps to grid, that the degradation was going to be really high.

“It was amazing how the track temp just made the tyres struggle that much more. Pirelli have a very high minimum pressure limit and it just really doesn’t suit us with the downforce set-up that we had in the car. In sector two there was a lot of tyre management but at the same time I couldn’t manage much by the end of that race and we were holding on.

“But overall, it was, in my opinion, one of the best races I’ve had in Formula 1. It felt like that last stint, just holding on and couldn’t make any mistakes, obviously, or else we were going to get passed straight away. But the top speed saved us a little bit and I’m glad I saw the chequered flag.

“The more I saw, the better I felt, because I was like ‘the train’s forming, that’s nice, that means everyone’s got a bit of pressure themselves’. When it’s just you and a car behind, they can afford to drop back, they can come back at you, do different things. But when you have a train, everyone has to follow the speed and they can’t afford to cool the tyres down, the brakes or whatever it may be. So when I saw the train, I was like, ‘yeah, good, bring it on’,” summed up Albon.

While the Thai racer was quite happy by the end of the grand prix, there were sad faces behind him who couldn’t attack as much to get through them. The lead car in that pack was that of Stroll, who lost places at the start while racing Sebastian Vettel.

“I got pushed out on the first lap by Seb, so that put me back a couple positions and after that I was just stuck behind the Williams and a train of cars and DRS, and strategy was difficult because we were just not in a great place,” said Stroll. “It was a tricky day out there, and we were so close to picking up a point. Things did not quite work out for us as we had hoped… Our race pace was positive, however, and we are extracting good performance from the car when it matters most. So, we did what we could, shame to miss out on points.”

Just behind him was Norris, who at one moment questioned his team if they can do something when he was stuck in the train. Effectively, McLaren did not have the race pace which as the Brit eventually reckoned that they deserved the place they were in.

“It’s exactly as I expected,” said Norris to media. “We knew the racing was going to be a lot worse here this year than it was in previous years, just because the slipstream is so much worse. But apart from that, just getting stuck behind the Aston and the Williams. I think the Aston’s pace was clearly better than us.

“But the Williams is just so quick in the straight. I found myself in the DRS train, and I just couldn’t do a lot. I reckon we were just where we deserved to be,” summed up Norris. For Tsunoda, even though he was out of points but he recovered well to be 13th from pitlane.

He made a late move on Guanyu as well but like others, he was stuck in the DRS train too where he couldn’t do anything. “Starting from the pitlane was always going to be tough, but I think the pace was strong and we had a good strategy, being able to make our way forward during the race,” said Tsunoda.

“Unfortunately, we lost quite a lot of time in the pitstops and then I got stuck in a DRS train, but I’m pretty happy with how I drove today and how the car felt. Hopefully we can maintain the performance we’ve found this weekend in the Netherlands, alongside a clean race weekend, and aim once again for the points,” summed up Tsunoda.

The lone surviving Alfa Romeo of Guanyu had no tyres left towards the end after the DRS train ate all of it up which allowed Tsunoda to pass him too. “Our pace was quite alright, and despite starting from the back due to the penalty, the race has even been quite exciting, with lots of action going on,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I got stuck behind a Williams train towards the end of the race: they were way fast in sector one, making them hard to pass, and eventually, in the last four or five laps, I had no tyres left, so it was a bit difficult to keep up. In terms of results, we obviously wanted more from today, but we sacrificed this weekend for the engine change; hopefully in the upcoming ones we can start further up on the grid and score some good results.”

Here’s how F1 Belgian GP panned out