Williams’ sprint race pace was a pleasant surprise for Albon

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In the round-up: Alexander Albon says Williams need to understand why his car was so quick in the sprint race.

In brief

Williams surprised by sprint pace

Albon rose from 17th on the grid to cross the line eighth, before being promoted to seventh after Charles Leclerc’s penalty. He said his car “came alive” in the race.

“A bit of carnage, which always helps, a good strategy and a good pace, actually,” Albon said.

“The wind dropped massively today in the race – the first time it’s done it all weekend – and the car became alive. So the grip I had, it felt equal to all the top cars around me, if not quicker. A bit of a surprise and something we actually need to understand a bit why but it puts us in a good place for tomorrow.”

Lawson rues “big mistake”

AlphaTauri rookie Liam Lawson admitted he had made a “big mistake” by spinning out of the Qatar sprint race.

Lawson retired from the opening lap of the race after losing control of his car into turn two. It was his first failure to finish any race he has participated in since stepping into Daniel Ricciardo’s seat.

“Obviously a big mistake for me and I’m obviously very sorry to the team,” Lawson said. “It just really caught me out.

“Turn one was really good, [I was] on-line, had made up some places. Then turn two, I saw a lot of cars having big slides, but by then I’d already committed to, I guess, the speed that I was taking in and they checked up and I basically just lost it. So yeah, big mistake.”

Pirelli to hold meeting with teams

Formula 1 tyre suppliers Pirelli are set to hold a pre-race meeting with all ten teams prior to today’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Pirelli alerted the FIA on Friday night to concerns over suspected damage to their tyres caused by high kerbs at the Losail circuit. As a result, the track limits were moved 80cm closer in between turns 12-14 with a contingency plan of enforcing a compulsory minimum of three tyre changes in the race, should further tyre examinations reveal causes for concern.

RaceFans understands that a meeting will be held between Pirelli and teams this afternoon ahead of the race, to discuss the findings of their analysis.

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Comment of the day

As Max Verstappen becomes a three-times Formula 1 world champion, iCarbs has praise for Verstappen, Red Bull and Adrian Newey…

I personally think the RB19 is the best car I’ve seen in quite some time and would probably prefer to have this than any of the other Mercedes cars between 2014 – 2020.

Listening to Adrian Newey’s podcast and the recent F1 article talking about the RB19 pretty much confirmed it for me. The car is much easier to set-up, designed better, compromised better, weak on only one circuit so far, predicable – for at least Max – and all they needed to do from the RB18 was to shed weight (slight oversimplification). However, Max still needs to get into the car and do the work, but if he’s not going to get a realistic challenge there is no reason for him to panic, worry, feel pressure, etc.

A well deserved title for him and is setting records that I’m expecting to be very difficult to beat.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Rob Tsintas!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today the CART IndyCar series held its first race at the Las Vegas venue Formula 1 left the previous year, now converted into an unusual semi-oval. Mario Andretti won

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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8 comments on “Williams’ sprint race pace was a pleasant surprise for Albon”

  1. Liam Lawson admitted he had made a “big mistake” by spinning out of the Qatar sprint race.


    I’d like to see the scenario where the drivers says I really think I did the right thing by spinning out of the race.. one of my best moves ever……….”

    1. Closest I can think of is Hamilton’s race at Monaco in 2008, where he hit the wall and had to pit, but the timing of his forced stop actually worked out really well and helped put him on course to win. Even then I’m not sure he actually suggested that hitting the wall was a good thing…

    2. Verstappen could have done just that, and officially finalised the championship during the GP rather than the sprint.
      But as it turns out he’s not really that interested in that aspect of the sprint/result and, unlike a bunch of eternally dissatisfied ‘fans,’ doesn’t require the fanfare of the main event to validate his and his teams’ performance over the course of the entire season.

    3. notagrumpyfan
      8th October 2023, 9:35

      Piquet JR?

    4. Not quite a spin, but Michael Schumacher’s off-track excursion in the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix worked out pretty well for him.

    5. It is not as obvious as you make it out to be.

      Sure, they will not say ‘best move ever’ but you might hear ‘was forced to’, ‘had no choice but’, ‘had no room’, ‘the track surface was’, ‘the tyres were’, ‘the car this or that’ etc. Or referring to ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ whenever things go wrong.

      1. I was being somewhat tongue in cheek to be honest. Though even then I was referring to taking pride in such an eventuality, rather than the failure to admit a mistake.

  2. I wonder if Pirelli will announce their new deal in the meeting with the teams…

Comments are closed.