‘Hang on, this isn’t normal!’ – Albon reveals shock at early pace in Abu Dhabi season finale
He might not have finished in the points, but Alex Albon revealed his shock at his early pace in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, as he scythed through the field in his Williams in the opening laps of the race.
A strong start from P19 saw Albon make up three places by the end of Lap 2, having opted to start on the medium tyres. Although he had to pit earlier than some of his rivals to swap to the hard compound, he was still able to extract enough pace to make his two-stop strategy work, until the closing stages at least.
READ MORE: 6 Winners and 5 Losers from Abu Dhabi – Who signed off their season in style?
“First few laps we got past maybe four or five cars and I thought 'hang on a minute, this isn’t normal!'” he laughed afterwards.
“It was great, we were good. There was always that moment in the race where we kept hitting a degradation point so it was almost like we’d do 15 laps and then have a loss in performance, so we were forced to pit quite early.
“We did fall short at the end finishing on worn tyres, but I think starting P19 and finishing P13 is a good job, so I’m really happy.”
While Albon at least saw the chequered flag, his team mate did not – Nicholas Latifi retiring towards the end of the race with an electrical issue. It summed up the season the team have had in many ways – quick in parts, but also difficult at times with a P10 finish in the championship one place lower than last year.
“This year has been a massive team effort and we’ve done our best in maximising the car,” Albon said as he reflected on the season. “We haven’t had the easiest car to drive which is no secret but I’m really proud of everyone.
“We know our weaknesses and we’ve maximised our opportunities when we were struggling, and when the car was in a decent window, that’s when we scored points.
“This puts us in a good place for when we have a better car next year.”
ANALYSIS: Why Williams promoted American Sargeant to a race seat in 2023