Alexander Albon felt Williams to be on par with Aston Martin and Ferrari in F1 Dutch GP, as he talks about unfortunate situations.
Ahead of the F1 Dutch GP, Williams weren’t too optimistic considering that they thought Zandvoort wouldn’t suit them as much. But throughout the weekend, both Albon and Logan Sargeant looked handy in mixed conditions well inside the Top 10.
Albon was the quickest of the two but Sargeant made it in Q3 for the first time as well. It didn’t work out for him in the race due to a hydraulic issue when he ran over the kerb and crashed into the barrier early on, but Albon made merry despite difficult situations.
Williams were among the cars who did not stop to switch to intermediate tyres when the rain arrived at the formation lap. Albon did about 44 laps on the soft compound going through the wet phase as well to climb up to a respectable sixth.
A switch to medium was questioned but he still gained places to be back in sixth until the final part when the rain arrived again and they pitted a lap later to lose out to Lando Norris and George Russell. In hindsight, he would have stopped straight up.
“After the first 5-6 laps, I thought ‘that’s points gone’, but we really stuck to our guns,” said Albon to media. “It was really important. You can argue that we should have pit earlier and kind of gone for the inter tyre but it was better to do what we did than for example what George committed and then during the terrible cycle, we then had a mammoth stint to do.
“Of course I did some 44 laps on the soft, you can only do that kind of stint when the car is good, when the car was very strong and very easy to control the front degradation, the rear deg, just with tools and driving. I was always able to shift the balance where I needed it to be. Then we put on the mediums and then we were making our way up the order.
“I was catching P5 and P4 and I thought this is perfect and then I was told on the radio that rain is coming in five minutes, so I was like ‘not again’. We need to review that second pit stop call. It is so tricky because I didn’t pit and for the first part of the lap I thought ‘perfect, I have actually overcut everyone now’.
“The Sector 1 and midway in Sector 2 was still dry and within 10 seconds it went from a slick to a full wet tyre and I was crawling in the last few corners and then lost out to Lando and George on the undercut. It happens. It’s one of them things where it feels like we finished today slightly disappointed that we didn’t finish sixth, but we still finished eighth, it’s still an amazing result for us,” summed up Albon.
The big picture that Albon thought was Williams being on par with the likes of Aston Martin and Ferrari in terms of race pace. They even managed to take on Mercedes. “I think we were on par with the Astons and Ferraris this weekend,” he said. “If we actually think about it, we did that first stint and in the whole stint we maybe lost two seconds to the Aston and the Ferrari in front of us. And we were on 15-lap, 10-lap older tyres than they were.
“We were very strong and we overtook a Mercedes. Of course we had a tyre advantage, but to overtake a car around this track you need a good second-and-a-half pace advantage to be able to do it, and we did it. We’ve been here on pace this weekend, there’s no mistake about it. It’s been our strongest weekend, it’s the best I’ve felt in the car in my time at Williams and there’s so many positives to take from here.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going into Monza. At the same time, it confuses me a little bit. We did a couple of set-up things this weekend which works, but I think they only work in high-downforce circuits. I don’t think you can get away with them in low-downforce tracks. So it will be interesting. We’ll take some learnings from this weekend and see what happens in Monza,” summed up Albon.
Here’s how F1 Dutch GP panned out