Alexander Albon causes Williams cheers in Silverstone: Best car 2024

Williams celebrates at home race: In the 2024 British GP, Alexander Albon crossed the finish line in ninth place, securing the traditional team from Grove a points-scoring victory for only the second time this season. “It’s a nice comeback,” said the Thai-Brit happily after the race. “In Barcelona and at the Red Bull Ring we were very slow. It was nice to get back to a fast track for us.”

However, the race did not go smoothly for Albon. At the start, the Williams driver made contact with Fernando Alonso on the right front axle after Nico Hülkenberg braked too late in turn three and then drove back onto the track in front of Alonso. Albon managed to save the car from spinning in a spectacular fashion, almost colliding with teammate Logan Sargeant, but he fell back to 13th place.

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Albon defies damage after start collision

Albon also sustained damage to his front wing and, to make matters worse, was hit on the left rear wheel by Daniel Ricciardo in turn 4. “There is a bit of a question mark over how much damage we had,” said Albon. Nevertheless, the 93-time GP starter never panicked. “It was almost guaranteed that it would rain. So it was almost clear that it wasn’t over yet,” explained Albon of his thinking. “We just had to wait for our time.”

After stopping on intermediates on the 27th of 52 laps, Williams was at least able to limit the impact of the damage somewhat. “We were able to adjust the front wing to compensate for the damage we sustained. From then on, the car felt good,” said Albon.

Williams driver Alexander Albon in the paddock
Albon suffered damage after a collision, Photo: LAT Images

Albon benefits from mistakes by top teams

But even before this stop, the points mission began to take shape. In the first lap in Vale, Albon gained twelfth place against Sargeant and was given another place due to Charles Leclerc’s failed intermediate strategy.

On lap 34, Albon finally moved into the points when George Russell retired. But that wasn’t enough. “The intermediate stint was OK. We did a really good job with the strategy in the final stint,” said Albon.

Williams with the right tyre choice in the final stint

In the final stint, Albon, unlike Yuki Tsunoda before him, did not use the soft tyres, but the medium compound, which turned out to be the better choice given that there were 14 laps left. Albon quickly closed the gap and passed Stowe with a strong maneuver on lap 45.

Racing Bull driver Yuki Tsunoda ahead of Alexander Albon in the Williams
In the final stint, Albon chased Yuki Tsunoda, Photo: LAT Images

“Within the first two laps I knew we were on the right tyre,” Albon said, describing his feelings. “The soft tyres were something you had to manage a bit too much. I’m very happy. Those were the last six or seven laps of the race and the best the car has felt all year. We need to understand why that is.”

As he did after qualifying, Albon attempted to explain this by looking at the cooler temperatures. “Because when the rain came and the track cooled down, my pace increased quite a bit,” the 28-year-old analyzed. “In the first stint, the track was quite hot and the tires stabilized at a pretty hot level. The difference in pace between our first stint and our last stint was quite dramatic.” Albon also noted that Williams had an unusually aggressive setup in Silverstone.

Albon complains: Should have been further ahead

Overall, Albon drew a positive conclusion: “We had real pace this weekend. That was a big difference to previous weekends.” This also meant that Williams was able to avoid risky strategy options like on some other weekends, Albon continued. “We simply ran the fastest strategy instead of trying to find a way to be optimistic.”

Nevertheless, Albon was not entirely satisfied: “I felt like I couldn’t really show my true pace. I was stuck in that group at the beginning and then also on the intermediates. In some ways, I actually think we should have finished the race even further up.”

Williams still without upgrades?

Nevertheless, given the difficult last few weeks and the close battle at the back of the field, Albon was aware of the importance of the points: “We have stumbled and need to build up a bit of a buffer to Sauber. And then of course we want to keep fighting with Alpine.”

“It’s really bouncing around in the midfield,” Albon continued. “It feels like Haas are a bit more consistent in terms of being in the fight for the points. So we still have a lot of work to do, but it is what it is. We’ll have a real upgrade after some time.”

Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas in a duel with Alexander Albon in the Williams
Williams and Sauber are currently at the bottom of the Formula 1 rankings, Photo: LAT Images

At least the buffer to Sauber could be Great Britain. Williams is still ninth in the constructors’ championship with four points, while the future Audi factory team is still pointless. Alpine in P8 is still five points behind. In the drivers’ championship, Albon was able to leave Esteban Ocon behind and move up to 17th place.

Meanwhile, the Racing Bulls are still a long way off with 31 World Championship points for Williams. Nevertheless, things have not been going well for the Red Bull junior team recently, although Tsunoda was able to save at least one point in P10. You can read all the details about the Racing Bulls’ Formula 1 Sunday in Silverstone in this article:

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