Report: Lessons learned from Austrian Sprint Saturday

Published on
09 Jul 2022
Est. reading time
3 Min

Plenty to assess ahead of Austrian GP

Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi have plenty to draw on from a tricky Saturday F1 Sprint at the Red Bull Ring with the Williams Racing duo finishing in P16 and P18 during the short-form race.
Alex crossed the finish line in P13, but was classified lower after a 5-second time penalty was added to his race for his involvement in an incident with McLaren’s Lando Norris when battling for position early on.
Nicky will start the Grand Prix one place higher than he began the Sprint with his P18 finish in a race where our No6 fought with tyre wear, with both FW44s running a contrary strategy to most runners on Pirelli’s soft compound rubber.
An action-packed Sprint had both drivers overcome early challenges, with two Formation Laps required after problems for other cars, and a first corner clash that Alex did well at avoiding to keep in contention with the other midfield drivers.
The Sprint results from Austria after penalties were applied
Albono felt encouraged by how he got off the line before needing to keep away from others: “We had a good start but then had to avoid a crash so lost a few positions, which was frustrating.”
Although most others went for medium tyres, Alex had no complaints about using the softs: “I don't regret the tyre choice; we were generally struggling with pace out there, especially when we were following other cars and the wind changed quite a lot which didn't help us.
“We were better when we were in clean air, but we know what we can do better for the race.
“I feel the penalty I got was a little harsh,” said Alex with regards to the time penalty for forcing a car off the track.
“I'm braking in a sensible place and I wasn't trying to push anyone off, I'm staying away as much as I can. But I feel when you put yourself on the outside with a car with limitations, you're putting yourself at risk.
“It's a shame because we lost a few places with that penalty. It was a tough race for us today, but we'll fight back tomorrow and hopefully come back stronger.”
Nicky knew early on that his Pirellis would be a limiting factor: “Not the result we wanted today. I felt after the second lap that the tyre could be a struggle.
“However, we made a decision as a team to go for it and to try that tyre. It didn’t feel bad in practice, but we need to understand why it didn’t work as well in the Sprint.
“We had nothing to lose, so we’ll reset and see what we can do tomorrow.”
Williams Racing’s Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson hoped the soft tyres would put our drivers on the offensive: “The Sprint was very frustrating. We chose an aggressive strategy for both cars and showed some decent pace.
“However, a penalty for Alex was very penalising and undid a lot of the good work from yesterday.”
Although the strategy didn’t work out today, Dave was encouraged by the amount of action in Sprint for the Grand Prix: “Overall, it was a very busy Sprint with numerous incidents, and this has at least confirmed that a lot can still happen tomorrow.”
Our Academy were also in action in Sprint Races as Logan Sargeant added to his F2 championship points tally with a P7 finish, while Roy Nissany took P13. Zak O’Sullivan crossed the line in P12 in Formula 3.
PWP: Will you call it right?
Play our free game before lights out!
Contact & Media
Store Location
Stay in the Loop
Powered By
© the Williams Group, under licence to Williams IP Holdings LLC
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 1297497. Its registered office is at Grove, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 0DQ
Powered By