Williams Racing secured a second points finish of the season after Alex Albon ended up in P9 following an incredibly physical Miami Grand Prix.
Nicholas Latifi crossed the line in P14 to round out a solid first visit for the team to the Magic City.
It was a clean getaway for both our drivers and with the Aston Martin pair both starting in the pit lane, we immediately jumped two positions to P16 and P18 respectively.
Not long after, we gained once more when Zhou Guanyu found himself nursing an issue that ultimately forced the Chinese driver to retire on Lap 7.
The next time around, Alex was fully engaged in a battle with his good friend, and ours, George Russell as they kept trading places in successive DRS zones before the Mercedes driver was able to pull away whilst Alex nursed his tyres.
After being told by his engineer, James Urwin, that he was on Plan B, our No23 boxed, switching his medium tyres for the hard compound.
With fresh rubber, Alex set about passing Yuki Tsunoda before getting by Nicky, who remained on his Plan A strategy.
On Lap 41, our race was thrown wide open as a collision between Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly brought out the Virtual Safety Car which was upgraded to full Safety Car conditions just one lap later.
Alex found himself in P11 at the restart on Lap 47, with Nicky now running in P16.
Sebastian Vettel got past our Thai racer on Lap 50 but with battles raging throughout the order, the chance for points remained on.
And, just four laps later, Vettel collided with Mick Schumacher leaving Alex in P10 with less than a handful of laps remaining, with the added incentive of Fernando Alonso carrying a five-second penalty.
Albono kept it on the road and pushed for P9, ultimately finishing just two tenths shy once the Spaniard's penalty was added. However, Alonso was penalised post-race for a track limits violation, giving him a another five-second penalty, bumping our red-haired racer up to P9 in the final classification.
“Today we found the pace that I knew we had all weekend,” Alex explained, adding: “We had a tough Qualifying yesterday which meant we were slightly out of position with a well-performing car, so overtaking was possible and we made good progress.
“We had a little bit of fortune with some of the cars ahead of us getting caught up in incidents, but the important thing is that we were in a position to make the most of those opportunities when they came.
“The team did a great job today, especially with the strategy, and so leaving Miami with more points is really special.”
Although it was a difficult afternoon across for the other side of the garage, Nicky was still for the team after another positive result, saying: “It was a very difficult afternoon out there.
“On the one hand it is very positive for the team to score the points with Alex, especially after where we started from today, but on our side we had too many issues.
“It was difficult and we were having to manage some issues early on which were holding us back, including struggling with the tyres and lacking pace and we need to investigate those.
Our Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson, was once again happy to see the progress made from Saturday into the day, explaining: “It was a race of attrition and patience today and Alex managed the opportunity very well and showed good pace throughout the race, which allowed him to undercut Ricciardo.
“The Safety Car was unfortunately timed for us, but Alex kept his cool and was still able to beat both Aston Martin’s, but frustratingly lost out to Ocon.
“Nonetheless, he drove well and deserved his second point-scoring finish of the season.
“Nicholas had the more difficult strategy, starting on hard tyres and aiming to run long.
“The pace of that tyre at the start of the race was poor for all those that tried it and this set his strategy back.
“Once on the medium tyre his pace was good despite having to manage a higher than expected fuel consumption.
“He also managed the race well and finished a credible 14th place, ahead of both Haas cars.
“Our inaugural trip to Miami has been a rollercoaster of a weekend, but we recovered well after a disappointing qualifying session to push the pack hard today and finish in the top 10.”
In the W Series, Jamie Chadwick added to her season opening win yesterday by securing another victory today.
The defending champion sent a strong message to the rest of the field, leading from lights to flag to complete a perfect weekend.
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