Alexander Albon says Williams pushed through its latest round of upgrades to the Canadian Grand Prix in order to capitalise on its chances at the high-speed track.
In recent years, Williams’ package has come alive at high-speed circuits and it has often offered it a chance to score rare points.
On Sunday in Montreal, Albon took the chequered flag in seventh place, marking Williams’ best result since new technical regulations were introduced last year.
The Thai-British driver successfully executed a one-stop strategy but was placed under pressure from Esteban Ocon for a large period of the race.
Williams unveiled a number of upgrades in Montreal, including to its floor, engine cover, sidepod inlet, rear suspension and rear wing.
Its chance of points was boosted through the upgrades, which were fast-tracked to the Canada event in a bid to capitalise on the car’s strengths.
“This weekend, we’ve had a great car,” he said. “I can’t thank the team enough.
“I’ve been at the factory the last two weeks quite a lot, in terms of simulator work, but also with James [Vowles, Williams Team Principal] and I can’t tell you how much of a part deficit we were at after Barcelona.
“We were on the edge. We decided to fast-track the upgrade into Canada, and the people at the factory, composites, everyone, actually we went, James and I went to meet them and discuss with them, we’ve got to try and get this upgrade ready for Canada.
“It’s going to be our only chance possibly until one of these Monza races come along. The guys worked absolutely flat out to get it ready.
“It’s great to be able to put it on the car. We put a new PU in it this weekend, we put everything into this weekend.
“Actually, [there was] a bit of pressure in some respects coming into this weekend to deliver, and we did.”
Albon says that leading Ocon reminded him of being at the head of the pack in junior categories.
“I’ve always, even in Formula 3, Formula 2 days, I’ve enjoyed leading the pack and controlling it,” he said.
“Obviously I’m not technically leading the race, but I’m leading at that point, you could call it the midfield race. It’s almost like just doing enough to keep them behind and making sure that you’ve got enough in the tank for the rest of the race.
“That’s something which is quite tricky to gauge. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a good car.”
With the six points he scored in Montreal, Williams now heads AlphaTauri in the Constructors’ Championship.