Alex Albon says that Williams are highly motivated to finish seventh in Formula 1’s constructors’ standings at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but if it doesn’t happen, the plans they have in place for 2024 is the right decision for the long term.
The 2023 F1 season marks Williams’ best haul of points since 2017 and Albon himself has finished in the points 33 percent of the time in a period of recovery from the form they displayed between 2018-2022.
They lead AlphaTauri by seven points going into the final race of the season. Whilst they’ve been above the Italian team since the Canadian GP in July, Albon says there will be no love lost if Williams don’t manage to finish seventh.
“There’s a big drive and a big one this weekend to finish up [the constructors’],” Albon said to the media.
“Clearly, it’s our number one priority coming into the weekend, but at the same time we’re pretty self-confident in ourselves that we’ve done the right thing.
“We’ve talked about it enough, but we have stopped development for a long time now and if we lose out for what we’re focusing on for next year, it’s not going to be kicking ourselves moment. I do think we’re going to we’re going to see the reward.”
Albon proud of his team
Compared to 2022, Williams have scored 20 more points and they have three more points finishes. They’ve also got a better “best result”, finishing seventh twice compared to ninth last season.
It’s still possible, mathematically, for Williams to finish last in the standings as Haas and Alfa Romeo are within 16 and 12 points ,respectively.
But the Grove outfit should have a minimum of eighth locked down since dropping to 10th would require something quite remarkable for their back-marker rivals to achieve. Regardless of what happens, the Albon hailed Williams‘ efforts in the latest F1 season.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved at the team,” Albon said. “I think about the races that we’ve scored points and they’ve been… We haven’t had, really. a smooth race where we’ve just gone, ‘Well, that was that was nice.’
“The cars improved a lot from last year. We are going into every weekend feeling like there’s a chance to score points, but even in that case race pace is not always that great and yet we still come away with points.”
Albon backs Sargeant
Logan Sargeant has had a baptism by fire in his debut season in the sport as he has been thoroughly decimated by Albon in qualifying and races, losing the head-to-head 21-0 and the race head-to-head 12 in events both drivers have completed.
But Albon, who was on the receiving end of such a beating by Max Verstappen in 2020, expressed sympathy to his colleague who is yet to be signed for 2024, and explained the complications of the Williams car.
“I think the car is easier to overdrive than to drive,” Albon said to media. “It’s very easy to go into deep into a corner and lose your lap because of the front locking problem. You have to have the experience to understand that.
“Even looking at myself from last year to this year I’ve improved, and that’s already having a previous two years in F1. That’s just me understanding that Williams, let’s say. It is it is a difficult challenge and I think about learning the weaknesses and strengths and then how can you use that to race against other people.
“For example, this year, setting up the car for a particular corner before long straight to make sure that you’re not vulnerable and getting overtaken. Stuff like this makes a big difference to our end result.
“Maybe it’s always not optimal what we’ve been doing this year in terms of lap-time but we’ve been able to get the car to cross the line in in a valuable position.”