Alex Albon came within touching distance of back-to-back points finishes, after finishing eleventh at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Team-mate Nicholas Latifi finished sixteenth at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Albon put in a defensive masterclass at Imola, after holding Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton behind virtually the entire race. The Thai driver, who started eighteenth, drove superbly last Sunday and maximised every opportunity that arose.
Albon had actually crossed the line in twelfth but was elevated to eleventh, following Esteban Ocon’s five-second time penalty.
The Williams Racing driver was very happy with the result but was slightly disappointed to have just missed out on a points finish.
“I’m really happy with the result today. We maximised the opportunities and overtook some cars on track with the pace we had. We had a new rear wing configuration for the weekend which really helped us hold position, and was particularly important in the second half of the race when battling with Gasly. It’s a shame that we missed out on points by one place, but we are taking opportunities, doing things differently and showing that we can battle higher up despite not having the fastest car.
“I was hoping DRS would be enabled a little earlier; we had six or seven laps where we were faster than the cars ahead and, with our downforce levels, we could have got past straightaway if we’d had DRS. By the time it was enabled I was wishing it hadn’t been! Overall, another weekend with plenty of positives for the team to take onwards to Miami.”
“I think we made some steps” – Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi’s lacklustre start to the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship continued in Imola. The Canadian, who finished sixteenth, was well off the pace set by his team-mate who continues to have the upper hand so far this season.
Latifi knew the race was going to be a challenging one, as soon as the rain began to fall prior to the race.
“It was definitely a very tricky race and I think everyone expected that when we saw the rain coming down ahead of going to the grid. It was very similar conditions to the start of the race here last year so I’m pleased we managed to get to the end of the Grand Prix this year!
“It was important for me to get that experience and continue to build my confidence in the car, as I still feel that it’s not quite where it needs to be yet. I think we made some steps doing that though which is positive, and our pace at the end on the medium tyre was relatively strong.”