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Spanish GP: Qualifying team notes - Williams

NEWS STORY
21/05/2022

Alex Albon qualified 19th and Nicholas Latifi 20th for the Spanish Grand Prix. Alex ran the soft tyres, setting his fastest time, a 1:21.645, on the penultimate lap of the session. Nicholas continued to improve throughout his Qualifying session, setting a 1:21.915 using the soft tyres on his final flying lap.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Having struggled yesterday, we made some changes to the cars overnight, which improved the balance for both drivers. In FP3 we focused on tyre preparation in the hot conditions and found a good window that both drivers were comfortable with.

Although the car was performing better today, we knew that to make progress in Qualifying we would need to get absolutely everything out of the car and tyres, and so we opted to run Alex at the very end of the session. Unfortunately, an unnecessary traffic jam in the pit exit held him up and compromised his track position, which prevented him from improving his lap time.

Nicholas tried the opposite strategy and ran early for the final run, which enabled him to have a clean lap and set a good time. Unfortunately, we are just not quick enough this weekend and we will have to be opportunistic tomorrow if we are to get something from the race.

Alex Albon: We really struggled with traffic at the end of that session; it's always an issue when there are a lot of cars out on track. I'd had a couple of decent runs and I felt like the car was in a good place after the work we'd done to resolve some issues. There was more pace in the car today, but when I came out for my final run there was a traffic jam which made things messy and meant I couldn't improve on my final time. It's frustrating as the car and the tyres were performing, so I'm disappointed that we didn't get a more representative result.

Nicholas Latifi: I think tomorrow will be a very long race for everyone. It's going to be the hottest day tomorrow and high tyre degradation will be an issue up and down the pitlane, irrespective of pace, so if anyone gets that wrong it can create a lot of opportunities, so there is still reason to remain optimistic. It was very tricky today - we were really struggling yesterday and overnight we made changes to try to go in the right direction and the car was more normal to how it tends to be in qualifying today - but we are still lacking pace and missing a lot in the high-speed corners.

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