The Williams Racing team and Alex Albon endured a difficult qualifying despite a promising start to the weekend on Friday and Saturday in Mexico. Albon was fast on Saturday morning however, in qualifying the setup changes that the team did to the car saw Albon start Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix from 14th place.
Speaking following the action, Albon said:
I don’t think it was track limits, however I might be wrong. Based on the external view of the shot, it looked to me that my rear tyres were still on the white line, however it is what it is. It’s really frustrating but what’s more frustrating is the lack of pace in Qualifying; I was four of five tenths slower than I was in FP3, losing a lot of grip, so I almost had to do tyre management to keep the tyres alive into sector 3. It was the same from FP1 to FP2 and now FP3 to Quali, so we really need to look into it. We’ll look to tomorrow and see what we can do.
Logan Sargeant starts the race from 20th place and speaking following the action he commented saying:
Unfortunately, this afternoon went wrong for us. Going for that last lap everyone wanted to stop in the pit lane for about a minute and lose loads of tyre temp and then there was impeding on the lap and yellow flags. I never really had a fair chance to set a lap. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We should’ve got into Q2 with a clean run. In hindsight, we needed to go early and get ahead of all that mess. It’s frustrating as we have a quick car this weekend but didn’t put a time on the board. The race pace wasn’t too bad yesterday, so we’ll try and move forward tomorrow.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance:
Despite only minor changes to the conditions and the setup, we had a very different performance between the two sessions. The performance was strong in FP3 but in Qualifying both drivers struggled to find the same level of grip that they had exploited in FP3. Added to the difficulties at the pit exit, Qualifying was much more difficult than we had hoped. With both drivers having laps deleted for very fine track limit margins, 14th and 20th was the best we could do today. We need to understand what happened between FP3 and Qualifying.
Racing in Mexico is different to every other circuit that we visit and there is still a lot to play for tomorrow: car and tyre management will potentially dominate the day and provide numerous opportunities to race. We would like to have started higher up the grid, but we can still race hard tomorrow.