[Albon “almost disappointed” to qualify eighth for F1 British GP
The Williams driver was third in both practice sessions on Friday, and was then second in the rain hit FP3 session on Saturday.
While other teams such as McLaren and Mercedes stepped up their game in qualifying, he was seventh in Q1, fourth in Q2 and then eighth in the final session.
Albon said that unlike some rivals Williams had been in good shape from the off at Silverstone, and that others had found performance.
“It’s been an amazing weekend,” he said. “It’s almost like you’ve finished qualifying somehow disappointed, but with a Q3 P8!
“But we have to be realistic. I think we’ve been on top of it early in the weekend. I think I’ve also just been in the rhythm very quickly this weekend as well, getting well adapted to the wind changes and all this kind of thing.
“So I felt like we’ve hit the ground running. And as the weekend’s gone along, everyone’s kind of caught up, basically.
“And by Q3, I’m sure there’s a little bit of sandbagging from other teams as well, but we ended up kind of where we expected to be after Friday, at least.
“But it’s still an amazing result, and if you told us this before the weekend started, we were looking at around P15. So it’s been a great weekend so far.”
Alexander Albon, Williams
Photo by: Erik Junius
Albon admitted it that it had been a tricky qualifying session, especially in Q1. He had a moment on the damp track and then had to scramble to set a time right at the end after a red flag.
“I was pretty sideways!”, he said. “It was very wet, I think you saw in Sector 2 in Q1. And it was really tricky, because there was like these kind of imaginary rivers across the track.
“As soon as you got to a certain point in the corner, the car would lose all grip, but you couldn’t actually physically see it. So you had to push up until this imaginary boundary, and then catch the snap and then go in, and I was a bit too optimistic.”
Regarding the last gasp effort that got him into Q2 he said: “I was kind of glad Checo [Perez] was the first car because you could have a bit of a sighter to that car. And you can tell what the gap is going be.
“I was glad to get through from Q1. And it was it’s always tricky there, because anyone can get through in those conditions.”
Albon also noted that he had some tyre issues on the drying track.
“The session was going quite smoothly,” he said. “And in Q3 as the track dried out and corner speeds picked up and track evolution came in, I started to get quite a bit of deg through the lap, front deg as well, which is quite rare.
“So we need to kind of understand that, why Q3 we started to struggle quite a lot in sector two and three in the high-speed corners, with the front tyre falling away.
“So I’m not sure if that would have been enough for P7, because there’s a bit of a gap to Lewis [Hamilton], but it was still enough where I feel like we should have been closer today than then we were.”
Albon conceded that while Silverstone suits some traits of the FW45 the team still doesn’t fully understand why the car is so quick.
“There’s almost a bit that we understand, and a bit that we don’t,” he said. “We need to kind of reverse engineer. And it’s important to understand why you’re slow but it’s also important to understand why you’re fast.
“I think partly some top teams are struggling a bit more than we expect. I think also this kind of circuit, with not much braking, we know we’re weak on the brakes.So these kinds of circuits go quite favourable towards us.”