Alex Albon will start the Spanish Grand Prix from P19 with Nicholas Latifi in P20 after qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Alex sat P16 after his first run in Q1 but found himself caught up in traffic caused by a queue at the pit exit, forcing him to get his elbows out on the out lap and being unable to improve upon his 1:21.645.
Across the other side of the garage, Nicky put in his quickest lap of the weekend on his final Q1 push, recording a 1:21.915. This temporarily lifted him to P17 before other drivers crossed the line, putting the Canadian back to P20.
Alex and Nicky will line-up P19 and P20 for the Spanish Grand Prix
“We really struggled with traffic at the end of that session,” our No23 stated, adding: “It’s always an issue when there are a lot of cars out on track.
“I’d had a couple of decent runs and I felt like the car was in a good place after the work we’d done to resolve some issues.
“There was more pace in the car today, but when I came out for my final run there was a traffic jam which made things messy and meant I couldn’t improve on my final time.
“It’s frustrating as the car and the tyres were performing, so I’m disappointed
that we didn’t get a more representative result.”
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Nicky has already turned his attention to Sunday’s race which is shaping up to be a real race of attrition, saying: “I think tomorrow will be a very long race for everyone.
“It’s going to be the hottest day tomorrow and high tyre degradation will be an issue up and down the pitlane, irrespective of pace, so if anyone gets that wrong it can create a lot of opportunities, so there is still reason to remain optimistic.
“It was very tricky today - we were really struggling yesterday and overnight we made changes to try to go in the right direction and the car was more normal to how it tends to be in qualifying today - but we are still lacking pace and missing a lot in the high-speed corners.”
Dave Robson, our Head of Vehicle Performance, explained that despite making progress from Friday, it wasn’t quite enough to find the time needed to make Q2.
“Having struggled yesterday, we made some changes to the cars overnight, which improved the balance for both drivers,” he commented.
“In FP3 we focused on tyre preparation in the hot conditions and found a good window that both drivers were comfortable with.
“Although the car was performing better today, we knew that to make progress in Qualifying we would need to get absolutely everything out of the car and tyres, and so we opted to run Alex at the very end of the session.
“Unfortunately, an unnecessary traffic jam in the pit exit held him up and compromised his track position, which prevented him from improving his lap time.
“Nicholas tried the opposite strategy and ran early for the final run, which enabled him to have a clean lap and set a good time.
“Unfortunately, we are just not quick enough this weekend and we will have to be opportunistic tomorrow if we are to get something from the race.”
Logan Sargeant claimed his first podium in Formula 2
Elsewhere, Jamie Chadwick made it three wins from three in the 2022 W Series, extending her lead at the top of the standings after a perfect weekend with a fifth successive victory in the championship.
Logan Sargeant earned his maiden Formula 2 podium with the American crossing the line in P3 during the Sprint Race, with Roy Nissany back in P16 – Zak O’Sullivan came home in P18 in the Formula 3’s Sprint Race earlier this morning.
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