‘We should have come away with points’ – Albon feels Williams missed an opportunity in Austria as he pinpoints ‘next chance’ to score
Alex Albon believes the chance was there for Williams to score more points during the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint weekend but, while disappointed to ultimately miss out on a reward, he drew optimism from the team’s level of performance.
Albon and Williams arrived at the Red Bull Ring after the Thai-British driver’s fine run to seventh in Canada, giving the Grove outfit their second points finish of the season and lifting them above AlphaTauri at the foot of the F1 standings.
With the FW45’s straight-line strengths also suited to the Spielberg venue, Albon was in the top-10 mix throughout the weekend, battling to score points in both the Sprint and full Grand Prix.
However, a move from intermediate tyres to slicks in the Sprint – while several other cars stayed out – dropped him to 13th, while a race-long challenge for a point in the Grand Prix ended with a P11 finish, having been overhauled by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll late on.
Reflecting on Sunday’s race, and the weekend as a whole, Albon said: “We had a great start and couldn’t really use the start to find a position, to gain any positions. The first stint [on medium tyres] was quite fun, I had the Red Bull [of Sergio Perez] around me, I had George [Russell] behind me, [and] it felt like I was in a good place.
“I struggled a little bit on that first prime [hard] tyre, we came out after the [Virtual Safety Car] within a lot of the guys who started on primes. To be fair, Kevin [Magnussen] is good at defending and he kept me behind longer than I should have been, so I destroyed my tyres a bit fighting him.
“I struggled a bit through that whole stint and when I saw Stroll pit ahead, I knew… It’s the Jaws music coming from behind and he got me.”
Albon added that Williams’ next opportunity to score points is likely to come at the Belgian Grand Prix and the fast, flowing Spa-Francorchamps circuit later this month, following visits to Silverstone and the Hungaroring.
“P11 I think is all we could have done today,” he went on to comment. “[In the Sprint], I think we should have been in the points… I think we should have come away from this weekend with points – it’s a track that suits us more than others.
“Maybe Spa, I’m thinking, could be the next chance, but it’s great progress, we’re showing that we’re now fighting… Also Logan [Sargeant] had a great race in P13, so it was a great race for both of us. We’re making progress and that’s the main thing.”