Alex Albon predicts he would have lost eighth place at the British Grand Prix if the race had lasted one more lap than the 52 it ran to.
After featuring in the top three in all three practice sessions, Albon reached Q3 in qualifying for the third time this season and subsequently secured eighth on the grid.
While the Williams driver lost out at the start and dropped two positions, a Safety Car on Lap 34 was well-timed for him to make his only pit stop of the race and inherit a place.
Albon then opportunistically took advantage of Sergio Perez’s overtake on Carlos Sainz at the restart to gain another place before defending valiantly from the sister Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to cross the line eighth.
“Yes, It rained at the very beginning, which was I kind of hoping for it, but anyway it was a great weekend,” he summarised.
“It feels like when you think about the speed of the car, P8 has been the worst position of the free practices and qualifying and race.
“So, it just shows… We expected the race to be a bit more difficult with Fernando [Alonso] and Checo [Perez] behind us.
“Struggled a little bit at the start. In fact, there was a bit of cement from the Porsches. And I don’t know… I don’t know if that was the reason why, but I didn’t have much grip at the start.
“And then for most of the race, we were okay. We were actually feeling quite good with the car. And then came to the… I mean, I have to say that Safety Car came out in a perfect, perfect time.
“So as we boxed in, and obviously had a restart, kind of licking my lips a little bit. And yeah, you know, the Ferraris were, I guess, on the harder compounds. Was able to get past Carlos.
“And then it was a tricky race, because we were basically trying to go for… Had better pace than Fernando, which was a bit of a surprise. But then Charles was coming quite quickly at the end.
“So it was a race of forwards and backwards… One eye forward, one eye back. Yeah, it became a bit of a dogfight. I wouldn’t have wanted that race to last one more lap.”
Despite successfully rebuffing the advances of Leclerc on the final tour, Albon believes the Ferrari would have overtaken his Williams if the race lasted one extra lap.
“I think Charles would have got past, but I do think… If it was one lap Charles would have got past, if it was two laps Charles would have got past both of us,” he conceded.
“And I would have got past Fernando! That’s my theory!”
Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing FW45 on the grid. 09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.
Williams has enjoyed a resurgence in competitiveness since introducing an extensive upgrade package on Albon’s FW45 car at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Albon scooped an excellent seventh in Montreal before narrowly missing out on the points with 11th in Austria, ahead of a return to the points at Silverstone last weekend.
However, Albon conveys that the Grove side’s form remains circuit dependent, with lower-downforce track configurations playing more into the strengths of their package.
“I think our highs and lows are quite easy to predict,” he underlined. “And maybe, I don’t know if McLaren could have predicted their pace this weekend. But I think we can.
“It’s quite clear that tracks where there’s a bit lower downforce and a lot of full-throttle time – that’s all us. That’s how we like it.
“So it’s also important that the track remains quite cool. Which today the track temp was dropping at the end of the race, which made us a bit more competitive.
“And also not much braking, the less braking the better for us. So Silverstone works out quite well for that.”
Albon’s four-point haul at Williams’ home grand prix has proven vital to its Constructors’ Championship aspirations.
The British squad have now moved above both Alfa Romeo and Haas into seventh in the standings with a tally of 11 points from the opening 10 races of the campaign.