Albon’s Las Vegas Grand Prix “an endless cycle of pain”

Formula 1

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Alexander Albon described his Las Vegas Grand Prix as an “endless cycle of pain” after he finished outside of the points.

The Williams driver started fifth on the grid and ran there for the early laps of the race until his first pit stop.

Over the course of the 50-lap grand prix, he fell to ninth on his one-stop strategy. With 11 laps remaining he made a mistake at turn five which dropped him out of the points. He finished 12th.

“Honestly, I don’t think it was as bad as it looked,” Albon said of his race.

“The Safety Car probably went against us today. We knew we were struggling with the graining. We did some things to try to help it, but we couldn’t really get away from it.”

Albon believes that those who pitted early under the initial Safety Car or during the second Safety Car period at the mid point of the race benefited compared to those who remained out on a one-stop strategy.

“I think everyone who was on the same strategy to me struggled in the midfield,” he said. “Then the ones that pitted under Safety Car were, I don’t want to say ‘lucky’, but they were more suited. So it was tricky.”

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Albon was one of many drivers who complained of having problems with graining during the race. He sais there was little that he could do to manage the problem.

“I know how to look after the tyres, I know what I have to do to stop the graining, but you can’t do it because you’ve got a chain of seven cars right behind you,” he said.

“You’re fighting every lap, you’re having to defend every corner. You’re getting the dirt on your tyres. It’s like an endless cycle of pain.”

Despite feeling good about his pace in the early stages, Albon says he struggled to keep up with his rivals as the race progressed.

“I was enjoying it to a point,” he said. “I had a really good Safety Car restart, got back past Stroll.

“For about five laps I thought ‘this is great’. And then I could see the front-right [tyre] opening up and then the rear-right opening up. And I thought, ‘okay, we’re going to struggle for a bit’.

“As a positive, the tyres cleaned up with two laps to go, which is a bit late.”

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Author information

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...
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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6 comments on “Albon’s Las Vegas Grand Prix “an endless cycle of pain””

  1. Endless Cycle of Pain would make an excellent death metal album title

    1. It almost sounds like he’s mentioned it to win a bet!

  2. Why attempt this? Low grip = high deg, so why would you even consider the one-stop?

    1. Quite a few people did well on a one-stop strategy. Of course, there’s a limit as to how high-deg a given car can be before such a plan falls apart, which appears to have been the case for Williams.

      1. Agreed with Ludewig though if they knew beforehand:

        We knew we were struggling with the graining

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