The team are reflecting on an incredibly tight Qualifying session at the 2023 Miami Grand Prix, where Alex Albon narrowly missed out on a Q3 berth.
Track evolution played a massive part throughout the three knockout sessions and in Q1, just 1.2 seconds covered Max Verstappen in P1 and Logan Sargeant in P20.
The Floridian racer was only two-tenths shy of a second-successive Q2 appearance but will be ready to push forward from the back row tomorrow.
After ending the first round in P14, Alex’s first run in Q2 saw him bang in a lap time good enough for P7 - a 1:27.795.
Alex was unable to improve on his final push lap and unfortunately ended up being knocked out by 0.05s.
All set for Sunday's race
“I think we maximised everything in Qualifying and we’re in a good position for tomorrow,” Alex shared after jumping out of his FW45.
“Sometimes you get upset because you’re so close to Q3 but then you have to remember, it’s still a good job.
“I’m happy with the lap that I did and we did what was right for our car. We really need a clean out lap to get the tyres in a good place and that’s why we tend to do a bit better on a Saturday than other teams.
“With the track evolution the way it is, it’s so aggressive, much more than most tracks we go to because the grip is so low, so that five minutes is enough for the track to be another tenth, and that means Q3.
“It’s a big unknown what the tyres are going to do in the race but starting P11, hopefully, we can turn it into something tomorrow.”
Across the other side of the Williams Racing garage, Logan was pleased with the progress made from practice and is up for the fight on Sunday.
“We made a pretty good step from FP3 to Quali and had the car in a good place,” the 22-year-old shared, continuing: “I had the couple of tenths needed to advance to Q2.
“I needed to do it on the first push, but I did it on the second and I felt like the tyres were graining towards the second and third sectors of that lap.
“It was extremely tight out there with fine margins. We’ll take the positives which should leave us in a better place for the race.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, we’ll try and be opportunistic and make the most of it.”
Dave Robson watched the day unfold from the pit wall, and our Head of Vehicle Performance summarised our Miami Saturday by sharing: “Although the weather conditions were stable today, it was still a tricky day with both sessions difficult to negotiate.
“There was still a lot of variation amongst the teams as to how to get the best out of the tyres and this made finding a gap in the traffic difficult.
“We had a productive FP3 session and were able to draw some conclusions on the changes that we made overnight.
“Alex was mostly happy with his car, but Logan was still having a few issues. Further changes were made and both drivers went into Q1 in good shape.
“Alex did a very good job in Q1 and with help from his team, he was in a good place on the track throughout the session. Logan too was in a good position but a small error on his first timed lap put him on the back foot.
“He recovered exceptionally well to end the first run faster than Alex. Both had good second runs and Logan was only a few tenths slower than Alex. Unfortunately, the midfield is so tight that Logan was unable to progress to Q2.
“We opted to give Alex a single run in Q2 and this almost got him into Q3, which would’ve been an excellent result. Although he missed Q3 by only 0.05s, he is still in a good position to race tomorrow.”
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