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Albon concedes Williams ‘paid our price’ for pit stops after just missing out on points in Australia

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: 12th placed qualifier Alexander Albon of Thailand and Williams

Alex Albon was left “disappointed” following a frustrating race at the Australian Grand Prix, with the Thai driver narrowly missing out on points in P11 amid a challenging weekend for Williams.

As the team’s sole runner in the race following the decision to put Albon in team mate Logan Sargeant’s car – after his own chassis was damaged beyond repair in a crash during Friday’s FP1 – the squad were hopeful that the 28-year-old would offer their best chance to potentially score points.

EXPLAINED: Why Williams had to bench Sargeant in Australia – and the big impact it has on the rest of their 2024

At times it looked like this might be possible during the Grand Prix, with Albon at one point running in the top 10 after starting from P12 on the grid. However, making early pit stops due to struggles with his tyres caused him to lose out later on to cars including the Haas duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

Asked for his feelings after the race, Albon responded: “A bit disappointed. I don’t think we had the pace today, and we were kind of falling away from the group we were racing, so we kept pitting early to keep us in the mix, get on some fresh tyres and try and close the gap again.

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‘Disappointed’ Albon says he just didn’t have the pace for points in Melbourne

“By the end of the race, the last 10 laps, it paid our price and we dropped back. [It was] frustrating, [I] just struggled with the tyres and graining and couldn’t drive as quickly as other people without graining the tyres.”

Albon admits that, had he not been forced to miss Free Practice 2 while the damage to his chassis was assessed, he may have entered into Sunday's event with more knowledge on his tyres and long run pace.

READ MORE: Williams boss Vowles labels Albon/Sargeant chassis swap situation in Melbourne ‘unacceptable in modern day F1’

On whether he felt the need to do anything differently as the team’s only car in the race, Albon said: “Maybe with a complete set-up change we could have done something but, honestly, not much.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46

Albon struggled with his tyres en route to finishing P11 in the Australian Grand Prix

“Of course if I did FP2 long run and I saw how the tyres were feeling, maybe we could have done something for FP3 and qualifying. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be, so that was the first time I drove around on long [run] fuel today. It was okay, just struggled with general pace.”

After a tough weekend in Melbourne, Williams will be hoping to bounce back at the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix, which takes place from April 5-7.

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Australia – Who left Melbourne on a high?

Prior to that, the focus will be on ensuring that Albon’s damaged chassis will be repaired in time back at the team’s factory in Grove.

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