Azerbaijan GP: Qualifying team notes - Williams


Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: A sprint format on the streets of Baku was always going to make for an entertaining day, and today didn't disappoint.

With drivers still learning the circuit, and with the new track surface evolving quickly throughout the day, there were mistakes and misjudgements. We were able to manage the consequent red flag interruptions well and keep both cars in a good position on the track.

Both drivers dealt with the broken Qualifying session very well. Alex was fast throughout and, had everything been perfect, he perhaps could've qualified for Q3. Logan drove very well today and immediately showed good pace despite missing some vital track time in FP1 following an issue with the nosebox on his car. The team rectified the issue and he enjoyed a smooth run to Q2. He pushed very hard in Q2 and extracted some good pace whilst also learning about tackling this tricky circuit in an F1 car.

Although the cars are now in Parc Ferme, we have some big decisions to make on how we tackle the remainder of the weekend. We have qualified well for the Grand Prix and we will need to keep this in mind as we decide how to approach the new Sprint Shootout and Sprint Race tomorrow.

Today was hectic and challenging, but the team dealt with it well and the car has good pace. Both drivers were excellent and we are looking forward to more excitement and jeopardy over the next two days.

Alex Albon: It's so close out there and I'm loving it. We're fighting for Q3, one mistake and that's it and that's just how it is. It's great to be a part of it but frustrating when it doesn't go your way. I lost time in that area with Carlos but when I look back at it, it's not like he was really in the way but you see how these cars are so sensitive and when you get a snap, the tyres hold on and it's so punishing. It's fine margins out there and I wouldn't want it any other way but unfortunately, we just got the wrong end of it today. It's another opportunity tomorrow with a lot of racing ahead of us, so we're feeling good and the car is feeling good. Sunday is going to be hectic with no one having done a proper race run, so it will be about keeping clean and hopefully we can make up some places.

Logan Sargeant: Qualifying was good. It was a pretty good showing for the team and I finally got into my first Q2. It feels like it's been a long time coming. I was really happy to deliver the lap under pressure at the end of Q1 and then I was going for it in Q2 and didn't quite get it right so that was that. Free Practice was tricky and coming from that I had to make a pretty big step so I'm happy with my turnaround to make a good jump forward and get closer to where I need to be. All in all, it was a positive day and the best part about it is that we get to do it all again tomorrow!

Check out our Friday gallery from Baku here.

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Published: 28/04/2023
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