A tough weekend for the team in Spain concluded with both drivers outside of the points, with Alex Albon climbing to P16 whilst Logan Sargeant finished in P20.
For the second time in three races, it was a grand prix that saw no yellow flags, no retirements and no safety cars.
On a weekend when we didn’t have the pace to challenge for points without interventions like these, it always meant that progressing forward was going to be difficult.
Alex Albon enjoyed a clean getaway and immediately gained a couple of positions on the opening tour.
Logan Sargeant, who started from the pit lane following changes to his suspension set-up and brake cooling under Parc Fermé, soon caught up with the pack.
Having started on the softs, our No23 was able to extend his opening stint longer than many of the other drivers who started on the red-walled rubber – he was running in P11 when he made his first stop on Lap 16.
Our No2 spent his opening stint on the mediums, boxing one lap later than his teammate and returning to the circuit with the hard compound fitted, much like Alex.
As our second stint came to an end, we were hunting an undercut on Valtteri Bottas. Logan came in on Lap 36 for fresh hards and Alex on Lap 37 for new mediums.
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When the Finnish driver pitted two laps later, both Alex and Logan got the jump on him thanks in part to the swift work of our team in the pits.
The final stages were all about management for our racers as they went on their longest individual stints – Alex maintained his P16 spot but Logan was caught by Lando Norris and Valtteri, finishing P20.
“The race wasn’t easy, but it was better than I thought it would be,” Alex shared on Sunday afternoon.
“We were fighting and beat three cars on merit. Considering where we were on Friday and Saturday, I’m pleasantly surprised with how today went.
“You get no prizes for P16 but if there was some rain we could’ve maybe had something.
“This weekend showed that, unfortunately, when it comes to these proper race tracks like Barcelona we do struggle and lack a bit of downforce.
“We’ve got some upgrades coming soon and hopefully once we get that increase in performance we can fight more in the midfield like the start of the year.
“Until then it’s about maximising the car we’ve got. Hopefully, we can do a bit better when we get to Canada.”
Logan can take plenty of learnings from just his second F1 race at a permanent circuit but is keen to understand what affected his progress in the final stint.
“Starting from pit lane didn’t cost us too much as we caught the back of the pack pretty quickly,” Sarge reacted.
“The first two stints were pretty good which was positive, but that last stint was tricky. We need to understand why it changed from stint to stint as I couldn’t find the pace or grip.
“We’ll get rested up and ready for Canada in a couple of weeks.”
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