Albon unimpressed by ‘marshmallow’ Pirelli tyres for Italian GP

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Alex Albon has compared Pirelli’s soft compound of tyres to marshmallows following Qualifying for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

For the second race in 2023, all drivers were required to use one compound of tyre, with Q1 being run on hards, Q2 mediums and Q3 softs.

Despite playing down their chances heading into Monza, Albon and Williams have looked strong, qualifying an excellent sixth and will start tomorrow’s race ahead of both McLarens and Lewis Hamilton.

“In FP3, we ran all three sets. It gave us a good direction in terms of out-lap preparation,” said Albon to selected media after qualifying. “So I think we did a really good job to get the car dialled in.

“In Hungary, we didn’t use a set of hard tyres, and we got out in q1. We knew we had the pace this weekend. We didn’t want to make the same mistake.

“This weekend, Pirelli have been a bit too aggressive, the softs are like marshmallows. I think the medium tyre is a good soft [tyre]. It’s pretty obvious [what] everyone’s strategy will be tomorrow.”

Crucial race for Williams, but expectations realistic

Historically, Monza has been a circuit where Williams have been competitive due to the combination of long straights and slow-speed corners, which has suited the team in the past.

Albon will have his mirrors full of faster cars trying to move up through the pack, and with Williams using up a set of mediums, a good strategy will be needed to secure crucial points. 

“We need to use these races, these weekends, to try and pull that gap from the kind of constructors championship point of view,” said Albon. “I think we could have saved [a set] of the mediums.

“Because my first run was really strong, and I was pretty convinced that [lap] would be [good enough] for Q3, but we didn’t want to take a risk, which is fair enough.

“At least for us, we don’t have any use either for the race tomorrow. So it’s going to be difficult. I think the quick cars are ahead of the race, I am not really racing them.”

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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