Alex Albon, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Albon says holding off five drivers for final point was “one of my best races”

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon said his run to 10th place in the Belgian Grand Prix by managing his tyres while leading a train of rivals was one of his best drives in Formula 1.

The Williams driver started the Belgian Grand Prix sixth after several drivers who qualified ahead were given penalties. He ran a two-stop strategy, going from medium tyres to hards and back to mediums, and successfully kept his Williams in the top 10.

“It was a tricky one out there,” Albon reflected. “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,” he explained.

“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.”

Albon believes he delivered one of his best performances to date. “It was, in my opinion, one of the best races I’ve had in Formula 1,” he said.

“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.”

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He kept a queue of five drivers behind at the end of the race – Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu and Daniel Ricciardo. “The more I saw, the better I felt,” he said, “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.'”

Compared to his previous points finishes for Williams, in Melbourne and Miami, Albon said that 10th at Spa felt more significant because it was “almost a pure race.”

“Of course we had a good race in Melbourne, we had a good race in Miami. I feel like we were on the same strategy as everyone else today, we couldn’t be as creative just because the deg was so high today,” Albon said.

“Maybe it wasn’t my best race, but it felt like it was considering what we had and the pace that we had today, to get a point was a really good job,” he continued. “It’s great for the team and for everyone, that’s the positivity that we need to take on with us into the next few races.

“I think it gives us a good confidence going into Monza and these low downforce tracks, we can do a good job.”

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2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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12 comments on “Albon says holding off five drivers for final point was “one of my best races””

  1. He consistently overperforms the machinery.

    1. @jerejj I Disagree, Albon sleepwalked into a single point by default and would’ve finished with zero if Bottas and Hamilton did not DNF. I don’t like this new “everybody’s a winner” liberty era of F1 where finishing 10th is considered a huge accomplishment.

      Williams is a solid top 10 car and Albon is expected to challenge for points every race, Latifi makes a mockery of an F1 driver so cannot be a true test of the cars pace and if anything shows how many points they are throwing away allowing him to be a nuisance on track. I hope Latifi is replaced by a competent driver next year so the team can challenge for real points on merit.

      The biggest issue is not the albon participation award worship BUT the lack of pace and development from AT going from a solid top 8 car to a backmarker team. I hope they are in the process to be taken over and receive much needed funding for a 2023 challenge.. Honda maybe?

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        28th August 2022, 23:15

        «“everybody’s a winner” liberty era of F1.»
        My boss taught me that as soon as he found b+ll+cks in an e-mail or report, he stopped reading immediately.

  2. Albon is pumping some life into Williams – great call to bring him in. Hell of a day to finish in the points.

  3. Shows what a clown show McLaren have become.

  4. Just imagine how good Alonso would be if he had a bit more self-belief. :OP

  5. He really had a great weekend here in Spa.

  6. Albon did great this weekend, poor Latifi is embarrasing himself.

  7. It was a very good race from Albon, but let’s not make it like the Williams was the 10th car in Spa. Or even the 9th. Or even the 8th.

  8. Yes, a very good race by albon, I was impressed, however there’s a massive difference with latifi, which is what makes it hard for me to consider the williams a good car, we need a decent driver on the 2nd car.

    1. He also was thinking strategically (drs train), which I like.

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