Alex Albon will line up inside the top 10 for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix after a strong qualifying at Circuit of the Americas.
Meanwhile his teammate Nicholas Latifi will be looking to climb the order having qualified P20 in Austin.
As the Texas sun began to set, Nicky found himself P15 after the penultimate push runs in Q1, whilst Alex was P17.
However, as the clock ticked down to zero, our Canadian was unable to improve upon his 1:37.244 whilst Alex clawed himself out of the elimination zone with a 1:36.932 which placed him P15.
The No23 started the second stage well, placing himself P11 after the first run of the session and he would improve his time further on his final run.
His time of 1:36.368 saw him miss out on a Q3 berth by just two hundredths of a second, ultimately qualifying him in P11, but the Thai racer will start in P8 after penalties are applied.
Our qualifying results at COTA
Reflecting on his efforts, Alex was understandably pleased with how well his qualifying session went, sharing: “Today was quite unexpected if I’m honest. It was quite a tricky weekend before qualifying and the wind is really difficult at this circuit, being hard to read.
“Track limits are always a talking point and one gust and you’re off the track. I was really struggling for rhythm so we made some changes from FP3 to qualifying which initially didn’t feel like they were helping too much but as the session went on, we just picked up improvements, got on top of the tyres and put everything together.
“I’m very happy with the day so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
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It wasn’t Nicky’s day, but he will looked to bounce back tomorrow, saying: “It was a very tricky session with the wind picking up quite a bit from yesterday.
“I didn’t do the perfect lap on that last lap and got caught out by a few snaps with the wind not helping there.
“Today was the first representative laps I got on the Quali tyre so it could’ve been a bit better.
“It’s difficult to say what we can expect tomorrow but the conditions will be tricky for us with the heat and wind. We’ll aim to make the best of it.”
Dave Robson, our Head of Vehicle Performance, completed our reaction by saying: “The conditions were tricky today, but we got pretty much everything out of the car in qualifying.
“We were able to do a few more tests in FP3 to build on what we did yesterday, and this helped to refine the setup for today’s difficult conditions.
“Alex and Nicholas were effectively in a private shootout at the end of Q1 with Nicholas looking very strong in the first two sectors but then losing some time in the final corners.
“This meant that Alex just made it to Q2. The extra couple of runs in Q2 gave him the chance to push the car harder and he was able to go from strength to strength.
“His final lap was exceptional, helped by some very good work from the engineers and strategists to get him into a good position on track with his brakes and tyres in a good window.
“It was a shame to miss out on Q3 by 30ms or so, but nonetheless, P11 is a better result than we had anticipated this morning.
“There are some grid penalties to be applied before we start the race tomorrow and so Alex will start inside the top 10.
“Although we achieved a strong result today, we know that tomorrow will be tricky and will require another big effort from everyone if we are to stay in the top 10.”
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