Alex Secures Best Qualifying of the Season in Canada
Alex Albon secured the best qualifying position for Williams Racing of the 2022 Season so far, starring in the wet conditions to take P12 on the grid and finishing P13 in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Montreal and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve returned to the Formula One Calendar for the first time since 2019. Qualifying was graced with soaking wet conditions - yet Alex showed his class and delivered the best starting position of the season for the team so far.
Alex guided his FW44 into Q2 during a dramatic Qualifying session in Montreal. The Thai racer made it through for the second time in 2022 – his 1:34.047 lifting him fourth-tenths clear of the elimination zone in P14. He would continue to star in the wet conditions, setting a 1:26.858 set on his penultimate run in Q2, locked in his P12 grid spot for Sunday’s race.
After a memorable build-up, it was straight down to business at lights out, with Alex making a clean getaway - later gaining positions after the Haas of Kevin Magnussen ahead was shown a black and orange flag on Lap 8, forcing the Danish driver to pit, lifting Alex one place up the order.
Just one lap later the Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Sergio Perez was forced to retire with mechanical issues, placing Alex inside the top 10.
When we returned to green conditions, Alex immediately found himself battling to keep Valtteri Bottas and Leclerc behind, which he managed for seven laps before the pair eventually got the jump.
Alex was in the pits for his first change on Lap 19, but just one lap later the VSC was deployed once again, this time for Mick Schumacher’s stricken Haas.
The order remained largely unchanged for the following 30 laps, with Alex keeping Lando Norris at bay while Nicky visited the box for a second set of hard tyres.
With 20 laps to go, Tsunoda hit the wall whilst leaving the pits, triggering a full Safety Car and handing Alex a cheap second stop, bringing him right back into play as a couple of cars ahead remained on ageing rubber.
The chase was on after the Lap 55 restart and it wasn’t long before Alex was making moves – two in one lap to be precise.
His first victim on Lap 57 was Pierre Gasly at T2, before getting past Magnussen and climbing to P13.
Alex would run out of time to challenge for points, crossing the line in P13 at the Chequered Flag.
Albono was taking the positives after what he always knew was going to be a tough weekend.
Alex Albon, Williams Racing Driver #23:
“Going into this weekend, we knew this track was going to be difficult and despite our good qualifying, in the first 3-4 laps I could tell it was going to be a struggle. I think P13 was all we could have achieved today so at face value; I am quite happy with it."
“Going into the next stint of races, hopefully, we can make these upgrades and continue to improve on this.”
Alex will return to Silverstone in two-weeks time for the British Grand Prix on the 1-3 July for the next round of the Formula One World Championship.