Alexander Albon, Williams, Melbourne, 2023

I only missed one chance to score points this year – Albon

Formula 1

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Williams’ Alexander Albon scored in seven out of 22 grands prix this year, plus one of the six sprint races – but he thinks there was only one other occasion he could have taken points home.

His tally of 27 points single-handedly put his team seventh in the constructors’ standings, as well as leaving him 13th in the driver’s standings.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved at the team,” said Albon. “I think about the races that we’ve scored points in, we haven’t had really a smooth race where we’ve just gone ‘ah, that was nice’. I wish we had more of them.

“But unfortunately a lot of them are holding up a bunch of cars behind us, which is what we’ve become renowned for.”

Williams rose from the bottom of the points standings in 2022 to take seventh place, their best result for six years. Albon said “the car’s improved a lot” in his second year at the team.

“We’re going into every weekend feeling like there’s a chance to score points. But even in that case, our race pace is not always that great. And yet we still come away with points.

“I have to say that in reflection, I’ve had a lot of fun moments from this year. I think Melbourne was the only race where I felt like I missed an opportunity to score points. But every other race we’ve done this year, when there’s been a chance, we’ve done it. And I think that’s been the main difference against our rivals.”

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Albon qualified eighth for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and was running sixth when he crashed out on lap seven. The track’s low-speed corners did not suit the Williams FW45, which led to a set-up compromise that then took away performance in the high-speed corners. That was a problem the team faced at many tracks in 2022 as well, and something Albon believes and the team improved on this year.

Alex Albon, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023
Albon started his season inside the points
He and team mate Logan Sargeant qualified fifth and sixth respectively at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, but the set-up which delivered that result worked against them in the race, where they finished 12th and 16th.

“Our car was not P5, P6 on paper, it was maybe P9, P10,” Albon reflected. “And likely we compromised too much of the Sunday car for Saturday. We went into Sunday and within three laps I was overheating the tyres.”

However he said the knowledge he gained of the team’s car the previous seasons left him better equipped to get the best out of their package this year.

“I actually think this year we’ve done a much better job at it than last year, because a lot of the reason why I think the performance on my side has improved is because last year I was learning,” he said. “Every race weekend I would go into, I would think ‘well this corner doesn’t suit our car’, and I would spend a couple of sessions with my tools and with my set-up trying to fix these issues.

“This year, when I would go into every weekend, in FP1 I already knew the general balance problems of our car. I knew the strengths and weaknesses, and I’ve been able to react to the problems much more, understand them much quicker, and I’ve been much more on the front foot compared to last year.”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
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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8 comments on “I only missed one chance to score points this year – Albon”

  1. I would agree here

  2. He’s been really humble throughout the year. He always talks about the team effort, always gives credit to his team and his team mate, never comes across arrogant. I really hope he and Williams have a really strong season together next year and he doesn’t get poached by another team.

    1. Alex is just so likeable isn’t he

      1. He’s an absolute superstar. I was in Monza in Haas hospitality. While we were wandering down the pitlane after qualifying he was doing some stuff for Williams hospitality people (selfies, signatures). We waited there while he was done and he saw us and indicated that he’d come over. When he was done with his Williams duties, his press team were trying to usher him away but he was having none of it and came and had a chat, a selfie and a signature. He really didn’t have to do that, and it is in stark contrast to some of the other drivers on the grid.

        A really likeable guy. I’m definitely an Albon fan these days.

        1. I’m sure your boys Fernando, Max and Lewis did the same!

          I love Alex, but TBH, it’s all about the volume you’re dealing with when it comes to being able to accommodate every fan.

  3. last year I was learning,” he said. “Every race weekend I would go into, I would think ‘well this corner doesn’t suit our car’, and I would spend a couple of sessions with my tools and with my set-up trying to fix these issues.

    i suppose this is how it takes about 3 years to become a good F1 driver, and how even with someone like Oscar they go up and down so much to start with. And then, it follows on from that how experience is such a factor and drivers have long careers so teams keep them and F2 champions have nowhere to go

  4. Coventry Climax
    18th December 2023, 16:17

    So here’s your -advance- explanation why Albon gets rated higher in the driver rankings than most would expect.

    1. Indeed

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