REPORT: Saturday in Melbourne

Published on
23 Mar 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

A solid performance from Alex puts us on the sixth row of the grid.

Competitive racing returned to the Albert Park Circuit with the third round of the Formula 1 World Championship on Saturday, as Alex Albon qualified in P12 for the team.
Alex’s first timed lap in Q1 was deleted after he exceeded track limits on the exit of turn 10, but it proved to be no problem for the No.23.
He ultimately sailed through Q1 with a 1:17.130, enough to put him in P7 after the opening 18 minute session.
He was only three hundredths off that time in Q2, with a 1:17.167 his best lap of the session.
In the end, however, that was a couple of tenths shy of what was needed to get into the top ten shootout, and the team made the decision not to go for a third push as the seconds ticked down – instead choosing to save a fresh set of soft tyres for the race on Sunday.
"No one wants to go racing like this, I don’t want to go racing like this," Alex explained post-Qualifying.
"It’s one thing to make a mistake in FP1 and then back it up and try and deliver in Qualifying but to be in this situation, I take that responsibility on, and the significance is not lost on me.
"It’s tough but now the only thing I can do is focus on my job, put it behind me and treat it like a normal weekend. Obviously, I’m a session down, but that’s all I could do and so far, I think we’ve done a good job.
"The ultimate pay back I can give to the team and Logan is to now go fighting for points."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, added: "It’s a huge disappointment for the team to be fielding only a single car today and this is a situation that must not happen again.
"Despite the disappointment and frustrations, the whole team pulled together last night and rebuilt the car that Logan had used on Friday with a new PU and gearbox ready for Alex to use today.
"It was a very impressive display from an extremely determined, proud, and professional group of people.
"Today was always going to be tricky for Alex but he carried the responsibility very well as he began to recover from missing FP2 yesterday.
"Helped significantly by Logan, who generously offered valuable and welcome advice, he was able to make good progress throughout FP3 and Q1.
"Q2 proved a little more difficult as he pushed to find the extra couple of tenths required to qualify for Q3.
"Tomorrow will be an interesting race with the Soft tyre compounds potentially allowing a variety of strategies to be competitive. Alex will need to quickly understand how to manage the tyres at high fuel having missed all high fuel running yesterday.
"It won’t be easy, but starting from P12 offers an opportunity to race the cars ahead and compete for the final points-scoring positions."
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