Williams car ‘the best it’s ever felt’ ahead of DNF in Jeddah – Albon

Alex Albon rued a terminal brake issue that put an end to his Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after 27 laps, but the Williams charger noted that his mount was the best it’s ever felt last weekend.

Albon was disappointed by his P17 performance in qualifying that left him with a heavy task on his hands for race day.

But the Anglo-Thai racer progressed nicely during his first stint on the medium tyre, the Williams driver pitting from 9th after 17 laps to switch to the hard rubber.

Unfortunately, an issue in the FW45’s mechanical brake system put paid to Albon’s efforts, but the latter was nevertheless impressed by his car’s overall pace in the race and its potential for points.

“It’s not been that tough, it’s a lot of positives to take from it,” he said. “It’s the best the car has felt since my time driving at Williams, so that’s very positive.

“It’s more frustrating because we had a lot of potential in the car this weekend, and we couldn’t use it.

“It’s just [in] qualifying we didn’t quite get it right. But in the race we were fine, we were back to where we normally are.”

  • F1i’s Driver Ratings for the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP

Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, confirmed that Albon was tracking towards a top-ten finish ahead of his brake issue.

“The pace was good and Alex had a good chance of finishing in the top 10,” said the British engineer.

“Unfortunately, he was forced to retire with an issue in the mechanical brake system, which we will investigate and fix before the next race.

“This is a shame as a lot of good work was done here and in Grove on Friday evening to prepare the cars for the race.

“We can take a lot of positives away from this weekend but at the same time we missed a good opportunity to score some more points and we must make some improvements to succeed in a very tight midfield.”

On the other side of the Williams garage, rookie Logan Sargeant saw the checkered flag after spending most of his evening in the second tier of the midfield.

But the young American lost out in the closing stages of the race to Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, to AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries and to MvLaren’s Oscar Piastri, concluding his evening 16th.

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