Loss of pace in qualifying was same as in practice – Albon

Formula 1

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Alexander Albon said Williams need to scrutinise how changes in conditions affect their car following the team’s reversals in form in Mexico.

Hopes were high at the team after Albon finished second in final practice on Saturday. However in he was only able to qualify 14th.

Much the same happened to him on Friday, where Albon finished second in first practice but fell to 14th in the second session later on.

Albon was on course for a better result in qualifying until his best lap time in Q2 was deleted for a track limits infringement. While Albon queried that call, he said the car’s “lack of pace” in qualifying was “more frustrating.”

“I was four or five tenths slower than I did in FP3,” he said. “We lost a lot of grip out there, I need to review it.

“The other drivers struggled but for me it was from turn one a lack of rear grip and then as you lack the rear grip, it escalates because you just start sliding more and then the tyre becomes out of control.”

He said the experience was similar to last year’s Mexican Grand Prix where the car performed well in practice but qualified on the back row. He said the problems yesterday meant he could not approach the session like a normal qualifying.

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“My laps were actually more like race laps,” he added. “I had to do so much tyre management through my quali laps just to keep the rears alive for sector three.

“So that’s something we need to review because it was the same last year, it was the same in FP1 to FP2 yesterday and it’s happened again in FP3 to quali.”

Although this weekend Williams have performed better earlier in the day, Albon noted the “ambient temperature is very similar morning to afternoon, but the grip loss is quite significant”.

Despite the problems, he thinks Williams were set up for a very good final qualifying session had he reached Q3.

“I actually think it was coming to us,” he said. “By Q2 run two, I was in a much better place and I thought ‘finally, Q3 here we go’ but it never came.”

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Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...
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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One comment on “Loss of pace in qualifying was same as in practice – Albon”

  1. sounds like some part of their car, maybe even a leading edge is stalling out the rest of the car at lower pressures. If williams can’t model it and test using a wind tunnel, they have to know how to troubleshoot it using their telemetry. Sounds like hours of fun. if they can reproduce it in the wind tunnel, that would be a good credit to their team.

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