Formula 1

Alexander Albon: “Our race was okay, but we got unlucky with the safety car”

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Credit: Williams Racing

Alexander Albon felt his race pace was ‘okay’ during Sunday’s São Paulo Grand Prix, but the timing of the safety car compromised his day and left him only fifteenth at the chequered flag.

After retiring with a mechanical problem during Saturday’s Sprint race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, the Williams Racing driver always knew he was in for a tough day in Brazil starting from the back, and so it proved to be as a hard tyre gamble at the start was quickly proven to be wrong.

An early safety car enabled them to switch to the medium tyre and a two-stop strategy, but the second safety car period gave his rivals free pit stops and meant he was unable to better fifteenth at the end of the penultimate race of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

“Our race was okay, but we got unlucky with the safety car, with everyone in front of us getting a free pitstop, ultimately compromising our whole race,” said Albon.  “We did a good job and in terms of the race, I was happy how I was driving, and it looked like we were optimising the race.

“I do think we may have made an error with our start tyre as everyone else was on the softs and mediums, but the safety car gave us an opportunity to immediately swap to a two-stop Medium race.

“It’s unfortunate but we’ll look forward to the next and last race of the season.”

Latifi Struggles to Sixteenth in Penultimate Race with Williams

Team-mate Nicholas Latifi ended sixteenth after feeling his FW44 was much better during Sunday’s race than in Sprint on Saturday afternoon, although he was compromised early due to a flat spot on his tyre after locking up on the opening lap.

Latifi, who will leave Williams after next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, revealed that floor damage had affected his performance on Saturday, and his repaired car was much better to drive even with the flat spot and after a slow pit stop.

The Canadian had hoped that the safety car would open up possibilities of moving forward, but it returned to the pit lane before he could catch the back of the pack, meaning he was forced to settle for sixteenth at the chequered flag.

“The car was better today in the race,” said Latifi.  “We had damage yesterday on the floor, which we repaired overnight and so the car was feeling better today.

“I had a big flat spot on the first lap which affected the first stint pace. It was then unfortunate we had a slow pitstop and struggled on race pace from there.

“The safety car gave us a little bit of hope at the end, but I wasn’t able to catch up to the pack.”

Nicholas Latifi finished sixteenth in his penultimate race with Williams – Credit: Williams Racing
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Long time motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1 and the occassional other series. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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