Williams drivers reveal crucial factor that ‘killed’ their chance of scoring points in Las Vegas
Williams pair Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant may have started the Las Vegas Grand Prix in a high-flying fifth and sixth on the grid, but a dramatic encounter on the city’s streets ended with a point-less result for both drivers.
Albon and Sargeant did enough to retain their positions at the start and looked set to challenge for a double points finish that would have strengthened Williams’ grip on P7 in the constructors’ standings.
However, the timing of the second Safety Car period saw a host of rivals complete less costly tyre changes, while Albon and Sargeant continued on ageing rubber and tumbled down the order.
At the end of it all, Albon crossed the line in 12th positon, with Sargeant the penultimate finisher in 16th, leaving them to rue what might have been on another day.
“I suffered quite badly from graining today; it was difficult for us and the Safety Car didn’t help with most getting a pit stop with little consequence,” began Albon.
“It’s one of those races that we’ll need to review after as I thought we were managing quite well but after the Safety Car in the middle of the race, I was racing everyone on old tyres.
“I could just about manage my own race, but I had to push a bit more and it creates this cycle which is difficult to manage.
“There are some positives to take from this weekend, so it’s not all bad, but obviously a bit frustrating to walk away without points. We’ll continue this fight for P7 to the very end.”
Sargeant echoed his team mate’s comments as his quest for a second points finish to add to the one he scored in Austin rolls on to next weekend’s Abu Dhabi season finale.
“Honestly, I don’t think there’s a lot we did wrong today,” said the F1 rookie. “As a team we came around fifth and sixth after the first lap which was the goal.
“I felt like we managed that first stint relatively well but, as expected, the quicker cars started to come through towards the end of it. We went with our strategy and boxed for the hard tyre with the plan to take us to the end.
“I don’t think we were in a bad position until that second Safety Car came out and it killed any chance we had. We didn’t really have any option to come in and fit a new set. Others did which put them at an advantage, but we tried to hold on until the end.
“As a weekend, we maximised our plan and executed well, it was just a bit of bad fortune today.”
Despite their no-score, Williams remain seventh in the standings, seven points clear of Alfa Romeo, 12 ahead of AlphaTauri and 16 up on Haas – with their three main rivals also leaving Vegas empty-handed.