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Albon laments ‘one of my most challenging races’ with Williams as Sargeant offers thoughts on Magnussen clash

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It was a disappointing weekend for Williams at the Miami International Autodrome after home favourite Logan Sargeant’s retirement from proceedings got compounded by Alex Albon coming home as the final finisher.

Albon was the first driver to pit during last weekend’s 57-lap encounter, having taken on fresh tyres just 10 tours in, with struggles to keep his rubber alive in the closing stages prompting a heavy lock-up at Turn 17 and another stop.

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Albon eventually crossed the line 19th and last, though a penalty for Haas rival Kevin Magnussen – who was deemed at fault in the clash that put Sargeant out on the spot – promoted the Thai-British racer to 18th after the chequered flag.

Speaking post-race, Albon rued: “We’ve been struggling all weekend; we haven’t had a smooth weekend. It’s one the most challenging races, for sure, that I’ve had with the team.

Albon brands Miami GP ‘one of the most challenging races I’ve had with Williams’

“We’ve got to look and understand why it was so difficult. It’s true, we actually… if you look in reflection we didn’t have that bad pace, it’s just that the cars behind us were all on new tyres, so I was the backstop for everyone else.

“You can’t really hold off the guys when they’re on 25, 30-lap newer tyres than you. I think if we weren’t that last car, and we were a position or two ahead and there was someone else being the buffer, we would have been okay.”

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Asked to explain his late lock-up, which came amid a battle with RB’s Daniel Ricciardo, he said: “It’s so dirty off-line here. You’re defending… but you know you shouldn’t really be defending.

“It’s putting dirt on your tyres and when you brake, you lock up. It’s one of those ones where honestly… you didn’t really want to defend, but you had to [in order] to keep the position.”

Sargeant, meanwhile, offered his thoughts on the Lap 28 collision with Magnussen around the Turn 2 flick that sent him sliding into the barriers at the exit of Turn 3 and out of the race – while also bringing out the Safety Car.

Crash with Magnussen ‘a very disappointing way to end my home race’ – Sargeant

“I don’t have a lot to say, other than it’s a very disappointing way to end my home race weekend,” said Sargeant, with two more races in the United States – at Austin and Las Vegas – to follow later in the season.

“Nonetheless, it’s been a positive weekend, and I have to take those positives. I feel like I’ve generally been able to get almost everything out of it this weekend... little bits to find, but I just have take those, draw a line under it and move on.”

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Asked what he felt the main positives were, he added: “I think [finishing 10th in] the Sprint race and in qualifying only being a tenth from Q2… well, less, three-hundredths from Q2, and those are all positives moving forward. I just need to try and find that little bit more.”

With Alpine managing to score their first point of the season courtesy of Esteban Ocon’s run to 10th in the Grand Prix, Williams are now one of only two teams – alongside Kick Sauber – who are yet to score in 2024.

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