Report: Mexico City delivers more points

Published on
30 Oct 2023
Est. reading time
5 Min

Alex Albon secured a valuable P9 finish for the team whilst Logan Sargeant was unfortunate to retire just before the flag

The Mexico City Grand Prix promised so much, and for Williams Racing, it delivered two valuable points in our hunt for P7 in the Constructors’ Championship.
We split our tyre strategies for the race, with Alex starting on the Hard compound from P14 and Logan on the Mediums from P19. Both avoided trouble on the opening tour, with Alex climbing to P11 and Logan up to P17.
After a brief VSC, Logan would pick off Fernando Alonso at Turn 1, whilst seven laps later, Alex also gained a place at the same corner, sending it up the inside on Zhou Guanyu.
The Chinese racer triggered a flurry of action in the pit lane from Lap 22, as Logan followed him in on the very next laps.
After a strong out lap, Logan made the undercut work on Kevin Magnussen, with the Dane filing back in behind our American.
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Magnussen would get back past Sarge, but our racer didn’t back down. After getting his elbows out around Turn 2, he took the place back, but later that same lap, a failure sent the Haas into the barriers at Turn 8.
This brought out the Safety Car, so we took the opportunity to pit Alex, bringing him back out in P12 just before the decision was made to Red Flag proceedings.
The race resumed following a standing restart on Lap 36 – Logan fell to P18 whilst Alex climbed from P12 to P9.
Not to be disheartened, Sarge immediately began his charge back up the order, snatching P17 from Alonso before passing Zhou for 16th on the road.
Yuki Tsunoda and Oscar Piastri made contact on Lap 49, which saw Alex temporarily climb to P8 before he was passed by Lando Norris.
Alex set about building a nice gap to P10 in the closing stages and wasn’t to be troubled before the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Logan was in a five-car DRS train.
He made the most of contact between Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll to poach P13 before he made a sterling move on Nico Hulkenberg at Turn 6 on the penultimate lap.
Unfortunately, all of his hard work was to come undone as we were forced into making the difficult decision to retire his car.
We had been managing a fuel pump issue during the race, and the call was made to pull him into the pits rather than taking the flag to protect his power unit.
It was a sour note to end what was otherwise a very strong day for the team in Mexico City.
Where we finished in Mexico City
“It was a great race, which surprised me, as we didn’t have that much race pace,” Alex shared after the Grand Prix.
“The track was a little bit too hot for us so required a lot of tyre management, which I expected.
“We had very good starts where we gained some good positions and also had a good strategy, but the red flag ruined that a little bit, so we had to reset before the restart.
“We made up the places lost during the Safety Car, and I think regardless of Qualifying yesterday, P9 was the best result we could’ve done today, so I’m happy.”
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Logan was left focusing on the positives after a heartbreaking conclusion to his afternoon.
“It was another strong Sunday from my side,” Sarge shared, continuing: “The pace was once again good, and I had some good moves.
“I had a poor second restart which cost me from being in the top 10. However, we were managing an issue throughout the race and came up one lap short from a reliability standpoint.
“We had a fuel pump issue that meant we had to retire. We had the correct amount of fuel in the car but couldn’t get the fuel into the engine.
“We did our best to manage it and the team helped guide me through it. Disappointing to not finish after giving everything I had after 71 laps but there are plenty of positives to take away and I’m happy with myself.”

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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, had plenty to keep his eyes across all afternoon and concluded our Mexico City GP reaction by saying: “As we expected, this was a fascinating and tough race.
“All cars were managing to some degree, and we were able to run at good pace with only minor management required.
“Both drivers pushed hard throughout, and each executed their own strategy very well, managing long stints on the tyres.
"Unfortunately, we had to retire Logan on the final lap. We had been nursing a fuel pump issue for much of the race but on the final lap we were unable to scavenge the fuel from the tank to the fuel rail and so to avoid damaging the PU, we retired his car.
“This was a real shame for Logan as he had raced really well and got himself into a strong position.
“Overall, he backed up his race in Austin with another excellent and attacking drive today.
“Alex too drove very well and maximised everything from the car. With perfect hindsight, we’d have stayed out under the Safety Car and waited for the red flag, however, the opportunity to get a cheap pit stop and guarantee track position over most of our rivals was too good to miss.
“Fortunately, Alex had an excellent launch at the restart and immediately got himself into a points-scoring position.
“It has been an interesting and topsy-turvy weekend. We didn’t expect to be strong here and at times we surprised ourselves.
“After a difficult Qualifying session, we raced extremely well with the whole team coming together brilliantly to deliver two strong race cars.
“We limited the damage in the Championship fight and now we turn our attention to Brazil and the final Sprint event of the 2023 season.”
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