Albon in no mood to complain about wind


Alex Albon claims that the wind at Zandvoort played an important role in getting his Williams on to the second row of the grid.

While Max got pole and Lando the plaudits, surely the true star of qualifying was Alex Albon, who week after week serves notice that he has been cruelly undervalued.

Though his teammate, Logan Sargeant came to grief after dipping a wheel on a wet patch, thereby causing one of the session's red-flag, he still qualifies tenth, meaning that Williams was one of only four teams to get both its cars in to the front five rows.

Speaking after the session, as self-effacing as ever, Albon preferred to pay credit to the Zandvoort wind for his impressive performance.

"There's been this headwind in a lot of these kinds of low-speed corners, braking corners," he told Sky Sports, "and we always struggle with low-speed braking.

"When you've got this headwind, it makes everything feel better," he continued, "it gives you that front load on the car and hopefully that wind's not changing tomorrow, I hope.

"It's hidden the normal problems that we have in our car," he said. "The tailwind corners have been normally high-speed corners where our car has never been that bad at, so I think there's an element of that going on."

Indeed, going into the weekend the team's engineers had apparently factored potential wind patterns at the track's various corners into the simulations.

"Turn 9, Turn 11 have always been terrible corners for us, corners where we've been losing two tenths each corner," said Albon. "And with the headwinds… half a tenth, maybe.

"So, I think that's helped us a lot. A lot more than normal. We actually drove these winds on the simulator. We do play around with it. We knew this wind was good for our car. But we got it, which is nice."

"Going into FP1, we noticed the car balance was in a good place, the tyres were in a good place," added team boss, James Vowles. "That gives you something to build on immediately. So, from FP1 onwards, we knew there was a better shot than normal.

"But the conditions today certainly favoured us," he admitted. "Do I think we have a car that in normal dry conditions would have been fourth? No. But Alex and the team delivered everything today. It was a very impressive result."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Zandvoort here.

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Published: 26/08/2023
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