Race preview: Australia
Get up to speed on all you need to know ahead of Alex racing in Melbourne
20 Mar 2024
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2 min
It’s time for Alex to head Down Under, as he takes to Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit for the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.
Round 3 marks the first “normal” race weekend of the season, with a return to the usual, familiar scheduling: Friday will host FP1 and FP2, FP3 and qualifying will take place on Saturday – and on Sunday, it’s raceday.
Set around the picturesque Albert Park Lake and close to Melbourne’s city centre, the Albert Park Circuit is a favourite amongst F1 drivers – Alex included – with Albono listing it as one of the three “M’s” - Melbourne, Montreal and Monaco – that are so popular with the grid.
Key changes were made to the 14-turn street circuit ahead of 2022, with the removal of slower corners in favour of fast flowing sections.
As with all street tracks, overtaking proves a challenge and maximising the racing line will take you inches away from brushing the wall: Retirements can be commonplace here.
That is something Alex will be all too familiar with - in 2023 our Thai No.23 made excellent progress in the opening stages of the race, running in P6 before unfortunately losing control at Turn 7 on lap 7, and crashing out.
Albono will be hoping for better luck this year, and potentially a repeat of 2022, when he raced for 56 laps on one set of hard tyres to score a point for Williams and earn the nickname ‘Tyre Whisperer’.
Speaking at the Williams Racing Fan Zone in Melbourne this week, Alex expressed how optimistic he was about where the team was, despite a difficult opening two rounds, saying, “we have a good car and good pace, so hopefully we can take that into this weekend.”
However, he also acknowledged the challenge that the team faces going into Round 3, saying, “the top five teams are so far ahead of everyone else, it makes scoring points that much harder this year.”
Round 2 proved to be a battle in Jeddah, and Alex will be looking to bring some of that fighting spirit once again, to be right in the mix for points at the Albert Park Circuit - let’s hope for more magic from the Tyre Whisperer, Down Under.
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