'It looks fast' – Albon 'excited' by Williams' 2024 car after helping team seal P7 in the championship in Abu Dhabi
Alex Albon has already turned his attentions to Williams’ 2024 car after the team sealed seventh place in the constructors’ championship in Abu Dhabi – while Logan Sargeant reflected on his first season in Formula 1.
Albon lined up and took the chequered flag in 14th place after overcoming a difficult start that dropped him down to 18th. He later reflected on a “tough race” although he believes points could have been on the cards with a better opening few laps.
“It was a tough race,” said Albon. “Stint one was very tough. I had a bad start and just struggled a lot on that medium tyre and then afterwards, when we went hard-hard, the pace was actually, relative to the people we were racing, was strong.
“I was slowly making my way back through the field and I think, if I had a good first stint, I would have been in a good place to at least sniff around points but maybe not, I don’t know. The main thing is Yuki [Tsunoda] didn’t score enough points and we are P7 in the championship.”
Tsunoda wound up eighth for AlphaTauri meaning he did not score enough points to overhaul Williams’ seven-point lead in the championship, and while pleased with the outcome, Albon was already looking forward to February, and getting back to work.
“Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to a break, I’m dead, I’m very sick right now,” joked Albon. “I’ll use these next couple of months off and enjoy it but like you said I’m very excited for next year.
“We’ve been spending so much time on the simulator working on next year’s car, I’ve seen the car in the wind tunnel as well – it looks great, it looks fast. I’m no aerodynamicist but if it looks wavy that’s a good sign.
“And on the simulator, it feels good as well. So, as you said, Christmas is only in a few weeks but for me it’s a bit more in February when we get to shakedown the car.”
Sargeant’s role in helping Williams seal seventh in the championship was to hold up the second AlphaTauri of Daniel Ricciardo for a few laps while the Australian looked to come through the field. He was pleased to play his part in the team’s success after finishing 16th.
“Yeah, I think unfortunate not to get a position or two off the start, ” said Sargeant. "But other than that we just missed a bit of pace to be honest. [We] purposely didn’t optimise strategy to try and hold back Danny as long as we could.
“And I was proud of the defence we put up against him for a few laps to contribute to helping the team today. I enjoyed the end when we were on fresh hard tyres coming back through, the quali lap after quali lap.
“And I think from a personal point of view it’s been another strong weekend. Obviously [Saturday] was unfortunate with the track limits, but once again had the pace of what the car was capable of and also proud of that.”
Reflecting on his rookie campaign, Sargeant responded: “Yeah, tough times, good times, I think especially this back half of the season really finding some momentum. Race pace has been on a very uphill trajectory, qualifying pace starting to come together now.
“Just down to unlocking that potential every single weekend and delivering on that potential. So, it’s all there, the next step is putting it together consistently. For the future we will see what happens, but I am proud of the resilience we have had all year.
“I’ve never given in. There have been plenty of tough moments but kept pushing, kept improving and could not have spent it with a better group of people.”