Alex Albon reveals key reason behind Williams’ stellar Qualifying performance in Zandvoort

Williams were sensational in Qualifying and Alex Albon starts fourth for the 2023 Dutch GP

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Alex Albon believes headwinds are one of the causes behind Williams’ excellent speed at Zandvoort after qualifying fourth for Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Although initially not expected to be a track that would favour Williams, Albon had a superb qualifying as he and Logan Sargeant helped the team secure their first double Q3 since the 2017 Italian GP.

“There was an element that we thought we were gonna start slipping back,” said Albon to selected media outlets, including Total-Motorsport.com. “Not more than anything other than because I was good.

“It’s no secret that we’re not normally good at high downforce circuits we always think about Spa or Monza [as the races we’re strong at]. The one explanation I do have is there’s been a really nice headwind.

“Turns 9-10-11 have always been terrible we’ve been losing two-tenths. With the headwinds, we’ve been gaining time.”

Tough race ahead with faster cars behind

Although Willams were sensational in Qualifying, Sunday’s race will likely be tougher with faster cars, including Sergio Perez in seventh and Oscar Piastri eighth, ready to charge through the order.

One thing in Albon‘s favour is that the Zandvoort circuit is notoriously difficult to overtake at, and with Williams, still enjoying relatively respectable top-speed cars behind, will not have it easy. 

“I think our race pace was respectable in FP2, but it definitely wasn’t top tier,” said Albon. “All the top-tier teams are around us. I don’t think there’s a driver that can hold them up. They’re all directly behind me. 

“So it’s going to be a tough race. We are not on top of the speed traps this weekend, and I think the Alpines and the Ferraris have been running quite a lot less downforce than we have.

“We have to be quick on pure race pace as we will get overtaken. We do need a bit of downforce.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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