Alex Misses Out in Monaco Mixed Conditions
Alex Albon was forced to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix after a technical issue denied him in a wet-dry chaotic race on the streets of Monte-Carlo.
Returning to Formula One's Jewel in the Crown Event is always a highlight of the calendar, especially for Alex - now a Monaco resident, made his return to the track for the first time since 2019.
After a tight qualifying, Alex just missed out on making it to Q2 by just seven hundredths of a second and would start the Monaco Grand Prix in P16.
It was never going to be straightforward to reach the points after a frustrating qualifying session, with this track being notoriously challenging to overtake on.
The heavens opened just minutes before the race began – meaning the entire team had to adapt to the changing conditions, as the race director issued multiple start delays and red-flagged the session after a couple of formation laps.
Once we got underway, Alex braved the challenging conditions and made steady progress through the field.
Alex had to find the ever-changing braking zones thanks to the inclement conditions, but crucially kept his FW44s running and without any damage to fight on.
Running in P16 after his Turn 1 scare, Alex found himself sandwiched, as he closed in on Sebastian Vettel ahead while soaking up pressure from Mick Schumacher behind.
The Haas driver attempted an ambitious pass on the outside of Mirabeau but made wheel-to-wheel contact with Alex - luckily the Thai driver emerged unscathed.
With the track drying by the minute, our pit crew jumped into action on Lap 19 as Albono switched to hard compound slick tyres.
However, just three laps later, the crew’s tyre-changing services were required again after Alex suffered a right rear puncture. He nursed his FW44 back to the pits on Lap 23, leaving the pit box with the mediums to try and claw his way back forward.
The race had its second red flag of the day after Schumacher’s crash at T15 caused enough damage to the barriers that the race director stopped proceedings to allow repairs.
Alex ran with the mediums when racing resumed on Lap 31, and had clear air to run in after unlapping himself; the conditions suited the FW44 perfectly, as he rapidly closing in on the pack by being one of the fastest men on track.
However, Alex found mixed fortunes as the race continued – as the Thai driver radioed in with a problem of his FW44 bottoming out, ultimately forcing his retirement from the race.
Despite the DNF, Alex could find some positives with the pace of his FW44 on some of his stints around Monaco.
Alex Albon, Williams Racing Driver #23:
“It was a tricky day out there and a bit of a scruffy performance from my side, too.
The conditions meant that getting the brakes in the right window was really challenging, especially with all the variation that a drying track brings and the red flags."
“The car felt good whenever we had clean air though and I did feel competitive at points, so there are some positives to take away from today.”
The next round of the 2022 Formula One World Championship will take place at the Baku City Circuit for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the 10-12 June.