Alexander Albon says he was very proud of his performance during the Italian Grand Prix as he secured a seventh-place finish at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, his second top ten finish in just seven days.
The Williams Racing driver started sixth on the grid and put in a superb defensive drive throughout, only losing out on his starting position by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Lewis Hamilton, who was running a different strategy.
He was able to withstand almost race long pressure from McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris, who Albon joked would not have liked staring at the back of the FW45 for as long as he did. He knew early on it would be a tough race to manage his tyres, but he was able to do so to equal his best result of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.
“That was probably my toughest but my most proud race I’ve done, so I’m very happy,” said Albon. “I’m sure Lando didn’t enjoy that one too much, but I did!
“We went into today knowing it was going to be a tough, long race and we knew tyre deg would be high. I think on paper we went into this weekend expecting to be a little bit quicker than we were and four laps into the race I knew it would be long, but we managed to keep everyone behind.
“We were on used Mediums and used Hards so we made it tough for ourselves; I wouldn’t want to do that race again but I’m super happy with the result.
“Scoring points two races in a row is really enjoyable. From where we were at the start of the year to now is amazing. I don’t think the next few races will be easy for us so let’s enjoy these ones.”
“There was nothing we could do to get the car in the right window” – Logan Sargeant
Team-mate Logan Sargeant was again close to breaking into the points for the first time in Monza, but the young American’s wait for a top ten finish continues as he faded towards the end to thirteenth.
Sargeant ran inside the top ten as he gambled on making only a solitary pit stop for tyres, but the two stop strategy for those around the back end of the top ten proved better for others, while Valtteri Bottas, running the same hard-medium strategy as Hamilton, was also able to jump ahead.
He was not helped by a five-second time penalty for colliding with Bottas, but he acknowledged it was not an easy race throughout as he struggled to get the car in the right window of performance.
“It was a tricky race in general,” admitted Sargeant. “We tried to make the one stop work after boxing early for the Hards, and I think it was just a bit too long on that stint considering the balance I had in the race, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do to get the car in the right window today.
“I struggled to keep hold of the Hard tyres and suffered quite a bit of oversteer. If we had the car in a better window we could have held on until the end.
“Looking at the next races, we will keep working really hard, try to put the car on the ground in a good window, and hopefully have good pace.”