Despite missing out on points in the Austrian Grand Prix, Alexander Albon was pleased with the pace of his FW45 throughout the weekend, and it proved that the Williams Racing team are making good progress with the car.
Albon acknowledged that the top four teams – Oracle Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team – all had normal and problem-free races, meaning there was only likely to be two spots within the top ten up for grabs.
And with Lando Norris playing a starring role in the race to finish fourth for the McLaren F1 Team and Pierre Gasly also securing a place inside the top ten for the BWT Alpine F1 Team, Albon was forced to settle for eleventh at the chequered flag.
Albon, who was handed a time penalty post-race for exceeding track limits although it did not affect his final position, felt the Red Bull Ring suited Williams, and with both he and team-mate Logan Sargeant showing good pace, it proved the team are making positive steps forward.
“I’m not disappointed about the race today; I think it’s a normal thing with the top 4 teams and top 8 cars in those positions, so there’s only two points up for grabs,” said Albon. “Lando had a great race, as did Pierre, so that was the remaining points and we were the next best.
“It was a strong weekend for us, our worst result was thirteenth where we were running P7 for most of it. When you think of it like that, it’s frustrating but it shows we’re making steps forward.
“Obviously, this track suited us and we were expecting a better result, which is a bit disappointing but still a great race and a good execution. I think we did a good job and with Logan having a great race, it demonstrates our steps forward.”
“Today’s race shows what we can do” – Logan Sargeant
Team-mate Sargeant was quietly impressive on Sunday, and once penalties had been applied to others, he was able to bring the car home in thirteenth place, his best result since finishing twelfth in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sargeant admitted that recent races had been tough for the rookie American driver, particularly in qualifying, so to have a good race made him feel like he had made a step forward.
He now heads to his favourite track on the calendar – Silverstone – with confidence that he and the team are heading in the right direction.
“It’s been tough lately, so it’s great to see the progress we made today,” revealed Sargeant. “When I don’t qualify well, I leave a lot of work to do on Sunday, so to have a good one under my belt is a nice step forward.
“Today’s race shows what we can do, and I feel like we’re finally moving forward into the right direction. We have a string of European races which I’m familiar with, so hopefully this is the start of something good for us.
“We’re heading to my favourite track next weekend but it’s also a difficult one with lots of high-speed corners, which is something I need to focus on. Thanks again to the team for all the hard work in bringing the upgrades to my car and we’ll now look forward to the next race.”