[Williams F1: Albon’s calmness and confidence “spreading around the garage”
After playing a starring role in Canada, sealing six points for seventh place, Albon just missed out on the top 10 in Austria. But the Anglo-Thai driver took another haul of points with eighth at Silverstone to lift Williams above Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ standings, delivering all of the Grove team’s 11 points so far.
On a circuit that wasn’t expected to be Williams’ strongest track, Albon laid the basis for his top-ten finish with eighth place in qualifying.
But it wasn’t Albon’s Q3 performance, or his head-turning fourth place in Q2, that impressed Williams the most, but rather his calmness under pressure during a late red flag in Q1.
With just three minutes on the clock, Albon was stuck in 20th place after seeing his first laptime deleted, but he then salvaged a seventh-fastest lap of the session in slightly damp conditions.
“What impressed me about Alex particularly was just [how] utterly calm [he] was, despite when the red flag came out in Q1 we weren’t in a good position,” said Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson.
“We sent him out there to queue, you are losing tyre pressure, I’m pretty sure it’s not the ideal way to start the lap but we had to get a clear lap in. And it was an exceptional lap, and that all started say from his being totally calm, not panicked at all when the red flag came out.
“He was completely calm, completely relaxed, happy it was all under his control.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, Williams F1, in the team principals Press Conference
Photo by: FIA Pool
It was just one example of Albon’s capacity to bring home points on almost any weekend that the slippery and efficient Williams FW45 is capable of it, which according to Robson has inspired the entire garage.
“The vast majority of the time he is there, and he gets everything out of the car for sure. It is a massive asset, because if you’re not getting everything out of it, then confidence drops,” Robson explained.
“I think his calmness is all rooted in his confidence and getting that out of the car. In a way, it spreads around the garage. If he’d come in panicky then it would have turned into a right old mess.
“And I think once he gets on that upward spiral and he’s confident, he does get the most out of the car. It just breeds confidence everywhere else.”
“I’m sure you’ll hear him on the radio at times when he’s out on the track where suddenly a different Alex appears that can appear very grumpy and tetchy.
“I don’t think in reality he is, that’s just how he is when he’s driving. The moment he’s back into the garage and the helmet’s off, he’s calm and chilled again.”