Albon and Latifi seeking points for Williams when grid penalties shake up Monza grid
Williams duo Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi left Friday practice excited for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix as numerous drivers face grid penalties – which could open the top 10 up for the two cars in blue.
Albon finished 10th in FP2 and 11th in FP1, the Thai driver having last scored a point at high-speed Spa – where Williams’ straight-line speed was plain to see. Here at Monza, with the likes of Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez facing grid penalties on Sunday, Albon was asked if he’d been presented with another opportunity for points.
“It is, and we saw that at Spa,” replied Albon. “In Spa there were a lot of penalties, we were able to hold people off – I say, why not? Why can’t we do it this weekend as well? It’s harder here to hold people off, but I think we have the pace. We’re quicker this weekend than we were at Spa – so let’s see.
“[The car is] feeling reasonable; we’re P10 and not totally happy with the car, which is a good thing. Normally when we’re P10, everything feels rosy. We’ve got some homework to do tonight, just fix a few things, fine-tune the car, we see a lot of grid penalties coming and hopefully that can come into our favour. We’ll see what we can do if we can maximise the car.”
Team mate Latifi – who was 19th in FP2 and 20th in FP1 – also hoped for points on Sunday, but he said that depended on how the faster cars qualify.
“Yeah, a tricky start to the weekend so far, obviously everyone bringing their lowest-downforce configurations here, so it does feel different – especially comparing it to Zandvoort, where you put everything you have on the car. So yes, I think there is still some time to come from my side, some areas I’m struggling with, particularly the braking here.
“If you don’t have the confidence with the braking here, especially with that low downforce, it’s quite detrimental to the rest of the corners. I thought we made a good step in FP2 but I think there’s a sizeable one to come tomorrow so we’ll see if we can do some homework and find some time.
“We saw in Spa with all the grid penalties, the way the grid can shake out, so it’s looking like it could be something similar like that. It also depends on if all the people with the grid penalties do the qualifying as normal, or do one run in Q1 and then park it. We’ll see, but it has the opportunity to have an exciting mixed-up grid like we saw in Spa.”