Formula 1

Albon on Stroll Contact: “The points were almost there, and we had to go for it”

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Credit: Mark Sutton / LAT Images

Alexander Albon felt he had a ‘pretty quick’ car towards the end of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but the Williams Racing driver was unable to convert that into points as he ended the day in retirement after contact with Lance Stroll as the duo battled over eleventh place.

Albon made a move on the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver into turn one late in the day but only ended up hitting the side of Stroll’s car, with both drivers spinning as a result of the contact.

Unfortunately for Albon, the damage caused by the crash meant he was forced to pull over into the run off a little further around the lap to retire, with the stewards handing him a three-place grid penalty for the Australian Grand Prix as they felt he was to blame for the incident.

Despite the disappointing end to the race, Albon believes Williams do have a ‘decent car’ when they are able to get it into the right window, and it will be up to them to find that window early every weekend if they are to become genuine top ten contenders.

“We were trying to fight our way into the points at the end and I went for the move with Lance,” reflected Albon.  “He made a strong defence and unfortunately, we made contact. We had to retire due to the puncture, but the points were almost there, and we had to go for it.

“We were lacking downforce and the balance with the car can be tricky but when it’s in the window it’s actually a decent car. At the end of the race we were pretty quick, it’s just about trying to make the car more consistent and predictable.”

“I made some costly mistakes this weekend” – Nicholas Latifi

Team-mate Nicholas Latifi will want to put the Saudi Arabian weekend firmly behind him after crashing out of the race at the final turn on the sixteenth lap.

His crash brought out the safety car and effectively ended the chance of Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez to win the race, with the Mexican having pitted just prior to Latifi’s accident.  Pérez’s rivals were all able to make their own stops under safety car conditions, leaving the early race leader down in fourth afterwards.

Latifi also crashed out of Qualifying on Saturday evening, and he will be aiming to forget all about his weekend in Jeddah as costly mistakes left him looking foolish.

“Unfortunately, I lost the rear going down to the final corner and that ended my race,” said Latifi.  “I took the same line as I have across the weekend, so it was unexpected but obviously both disappointing and frustrating.

“I made some costly mistakes this weekend, so it’s an event to learn from for me. I’ll go away and reset for Australia.”

Nicholas Latifi crashed during Qualifying and the race in Saudi Arabia – Credit: Williams Racing
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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