Alex Seals Spa Points with Brilliant Defensive Drive
Alex Albon put on a brilliant performance at Spa-Francorchamps, taking home another point paying position with P10, following Formula One's returned to action at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Thai driver secured Williams Racing's best qualifying result of the season with a time good enough for P9 - reaching Q3 for the first time this season after a star-showing on Saturday.
Following various grid penalties on the grid, Alex was promoted up to a P6 starting slot for the Belgian Grand Prix once they were all applied.
After starting on the third row, Alex got bogged down at the start, dropping back a couple of positions before the first corner, however recovered a position following an opening lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
With Hamilton and now Bottas stricken, a full Safety Car was called with Alex running in P7.
Racing resumed on Lap 5 and eventual race winner Max Verstappen would get by his former teammate Alex in the middle sector, having struggled to get by the rapid Thai driver on the Kemmel Straight. Alas, he wouldn’t be the only driver to find passing Albono tough this afternoon!
Alex would jump back up to P7 on the following lap, storming by Daniel Ricciardo, before boxing for his first pitstop at the start of Lap 11.
With fresh hard tyres on his machine, Alex set about climbing back up the order and soon swooped by Schumacher through Eau Rouge – a stunning move that was sadly not shown on the main TV feed.
Having passed Sebastian Vettel, the retiring four-time champion would get back past again shortly after, as would Esteban Ocon, filing our man down to P9.
Some good tyre management allowed Alex to once again blink first, pitting for the final time on Lap 27 for new mediums.
Crucially for Alex, his teammate Nicky put in a storming lap to come out just behind his teammate and ahead of the charging Lance Stroll, giving Alex so much-needed breathing room.
Alex held on until the chequered flag, securing a P10 finish after maximising the raw straight-line speed of the FW44 and maintaining a solid defence in the closing stages whilst under immense pressure!
Alex Albon, Williams Racing Driver #23:
“This was one of the tougher races I’ve done in my career and also one of my personal bests! We did the best job we could today and it’s a good feeling!
On the lap to the grid, it was clear that tyre degradation was going to be really high and hotter track temperatures than we have had the rest of the weekend made tyre wear worse. On the final stint I was thinking about three-stopping, but we held on, kept Lance [Stroll] behind and then it was about not making any mistakes."
“I think, as a whole, we executed the weekend from FP1 onwards well, maximised the positive of our car being quick on the straights, and made no mistakes. We experimented, made the best of the tyres in qualifying and maximised the results potential in the race, so I’m very happy!
As a team, we had a complete weekend and that’s what it shows; when you don’t have the fastest car but you do everything right, you can still come away with a point or two.”
The second race in a triple-header of F1 races takes place this weekend at Zandvoort, for the Dutch Grand Prix on the 2-4 September.