Albon hoping Williams can ‘hit our stride’ after breaking points duck in Monaco

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes

Alex Albon is feeling hopeful that he and Williams can “hit our stride” in the races ahead after scoring their first points of the season with a P9 finish in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Having started from the same position on the grid, Albon enjoyed a clean if quiet afternoon in Monte Carlo and, with the squad now getting off the mark, the Thai driver believes that they can carry the momentum forwards.

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Asked how pleased he was to score both his and the team’s first points of the campaign, Albon answered: “Great. I feel it was maybe a bit of a boring one. I wish I had a nicer race, more fun race to say how we scored our first points, but I’ll take that!

“P9 is great for us, it puts us on the board, puts us in a positive momentum for the next few. Last year it took us a while to get some points and then we really started to hit our stride.

“I don’t know why we can’t do that again – we’ve chipped away at the car, brought some small upgrades to the car and it’s paying off so, yeah, happy.”

Albon hoping Williams can ‘hit our stride’ after breaking points duck in Monaco

With most drivers having swapped tyres during the red flag stoppage – caused by a collision between Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap – the majority were aiming to get to the end of the race on the same set.

As such, many were running at a slow pace as they tried to conserve their rubber, though Albon believes that some were perhaps taking things a little too leisurely.

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“The pace was painfully slow!” he commented. “I could see [Yuki Tsunoda in eighth] had pace and I just thought to myself, these guys are playing it way too safe! You can go a bit quicker – we got lapped after like 20 laps!

“But anyway, to be fair, at the end of the race it was tough, the tyres did degrade, but I didn’t think it needed to be so slow like it was.”

It was a slightly more eventful afternoon for Logan Sargeant, who was the only driver not to switch tyres in the red flag period, meaning that he was forced to make a pit stop later in the race.

Sargeant reckons Williams should have split strategies in Monaco

He also spent a significant amount of time in a 'train' behind Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, and had a brief kiss with the walls towards the end before crossing the line in P15.

Pushed on what the thinking was behind his strategy decision, Sargeant explained; “To be honest I’m not really sure. I’ll see what the team thinks or what the process was but I think, with Alex going on the hard, we probably should have split [strategies].

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“At the end of the day, it was a tricky race, obviously being stuck underneath Fernando and Danny for a long time – [Alonso] was making a gap for Lance [Stroll], I believe. It just started to eat away at the tyres, and I really had nothing left on that hard tyre.

“The rears just completely degraded and from there I was just hanging on. Once I put the new tyre on it felt great, but, yeah, oh well.”

There were positives for Sargeant, though, with the American adding: “I would say in terms of single-lap [pace it was strong]. Today I have no idea about what actually went on behind the scenes, all I know is the struggle from inside the car.”


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