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Albon left frustrated by Perez's 'opportunistic move' that cost him points in Singapore

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 16: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Williams looks on in the

There was a feeling of what might have been following the Singapore GP for Williams, as both Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant believed that, without a couple of incidents, a better result was possible. Both drivers finished outside the points in a dramatic race at the Marina Bay circuit in what had been a testing weekend overall.

Albon had made it a habit of getting into Q3 of late and had been fighting at the sharp end of the field at the previous races – in Zandvoort and Monza – but in Singapore the Thai racer started from 15th on the grid.

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Singapore – Who impressed under the lights at Marina Bay?

He struggled to make progress up the order but, having a set of new mediums for the race, Williams opted to pit Albon under the Virtual Safety Car – caused by Esteban Ocon stopping on track – giving Albon 18 laps to get into the top-10.

However, having made it up to 10th, he was hit by Sergio Perez – an incident for which the Red Bull racer was handed a five-second time penalty – which ended his hopes of a third points finish in a row, eventually taking the chequered flag in 11th.

“Should have been P8 today, I’m pretty sure,” said Albon. “I haven’t seen everything. I haven’t seen the videos, so maybe I could have done something differently. Obviously in the car you have a view, it’s different outside.

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2023 Singapore Grand Prix: Perez and Albon collide on Lap 58

“We were running in a good position; I had a great strategy. We did expect a Safety Car to come in around the period and we saved a medium tyre for that situation and it paid dividends in the race.

“And it was coming to us, we had a really good race coming through the pack, and then coming up to Liam [Lawson]. We needed a couple more laps to get past him more likely but then I had contact with Checo and that was me out of the race.”

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: The two crucial Singapore Grand Prix moments that stopped Russell and Mercedes claiming victory

Asked what happened in the incident with Perez, Albon replied: “Optimistic move. Through my rear-view mirrors an optimistic move and he also almost T-boned me pretty much into Turn 13. I got stuck and I couldn’t get out. Had to reverse, face the wall, and that was it really.”

Sargeant was also involved in a collision of his own as he made the 'costly' mistake of hitting the barrier at Turn 8 – bringing out the Safety Car. He was able to come back into the pit lane and change his front wing before crossing the line in 14th.

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2023 Singapore Grand Prix: Safety Car deployed after Logan Sargeant hits the wall

“One mistake was very costly,” reflected Sargeant. “I feel like the car was in a good place, proud of those last two stints, I never gave up. Did everything I could in my power to try and close back in and make something happen, but could’ve used more safety car to close back in.

“It wasn’t a bad race in terms of pace, I think the whole weekend has been okay in terms of pace, I just need to cut out those small mistakes. It's such small margins but so costly.”

READ MORE: Lawson hails 'fantastic' first F1 points scoring outing after finishing ninth in Singapore

Asked what would have been possible if not for the incident, Sargeant replied: “A lot happened, and a lot was happening. I felt good on that first stint. I could feel the tyres kind of going away, and I knew we were getting close to boxing, so it’s a shame.

“Just made the mistake one or two laps two early, that could have changed our race. I felt like we had good pace at that point. Just got to cut those out, but still got to take the positives. We’ve been decent this weekend considering the package we had, but we will look forward to Suzuka."

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