Albon admits ‘not much can be salvaged’ from wrecked car as Williams bid to make repairs without spare chassis

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Alex Albon of Thailand and Williams F1 crashes out during FP1

Alex Albon has conceded that it will be “tricky” for Williams to make the repairs required following his heavy crash during practice for the Australian Grand Prix without the availability of another chassis.

Albon lost control of his car at the exit of Turn 6 around two thirds of the way into Friday’s opening session at Albert Park, running over the kerbs at the exit and then spinning out into the wall on the other side of the track.

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While the Thai-British racer swiftly reported that he was unharmed after drifting back across the racing line and contacting the concrete barrier for a second time through Turn 8, a huge amount of damage had been done to the FW46.

Albon was forced to sit out the subsequent FP2 session as a result, during which Williams confirmed they do not have a spare chassis to hand this weekend – meaning there is a risk of them only being able to compete with one car if a replacement is needed.

Explaining the incident from his perspective, Albon said: “I was just exploring a little bit, went a bit wide, had a bit of an aggressive kind of kerb strike and it lifted up the front.

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“I honestly didn’t think anything of it at the time. I thought, ‘Okay, it’s fine, I’ll just back out and let the car land’, but when I did land I bottomed out pretty badly and when it bottomed out it just kind of spat me [into the wall].

“It’s frustrating, of course, and obviously I just feel bad for everyone back at the factory and here at the track. It’s a lot of damage, so let’s see, let’s see if we can get it repaired.”

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Asked to confirm the extent of the damage, given the lack of another chassis, and the position it leaves him in for the weekend ahead, Albon added: “There’s not much that can be salvaged, if I’m honest.

“We’re going through it now, looking at where the damage is. It’s going to be tricky, that’s for sure. Obviously it’s very frustrating for that reason. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell you until a bit later on today.”

Pushed on talk that Williams could decide to put Albon in team mate Logan Sargeant’s car from FP3 onwards, should his own machine be beyond repair, the former Red Bull driver signed off: “I’m not sure, to be honest.”

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As for Sargeant, he ended the day 13th on the timesheets but was also left to rue a mistake in second practice that ruined a set of medium tyres and left Williams without any meaningful long run data.

“It doesn’t help,” he admitted of the situation. “Losing that medium was definitely a big mistake. Obviously you’re not thinking about that in the moment, but afterwards I was like, ‘Ah, I really needed that.’

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“But it is what it is, we make the most of what we have. For sure we’re missing some data that is crucial but the good news is our car is generally even better on long runs than short runs and the short runs are feeling okay.

“We’ll try and use what we can from the other teams to look at tyre life and other things like that. Some work to do tonight, but we’re not in a bad spot.”



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Coming Up


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