Albon: first points a big moral boost for Williams

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Williams driver Alexander Albon says that scoring for the first time in 2024 will be a big morale boost for the Grove-based outfit after a tough start to the season.

Williams endured a difficult start to its season, failing to score points in the opening seven races in 2024. The British outfit had a "slippery" car in the past two season which meant that they were competitive at certain circuits where they could make use of their high straight-line speed, albeit they struggled for pace at other places.

For this year, the team had designed a car that is more of an all-rounder and is more stable under braking, but with the FW46 being iver the weight limit, Williams has been unable to score points so far this year.

However, Monaco allowed the team to display a more encouraging pace as the challenging street circuit punished the additional weight slightly less. Alex Albon did not hesitate to grab the opportunity on Saturday, qualifying in the top ten which he could convert into a ninth place finish to score his and the team's first points in 2024.

"Whilst you’d rather have a slightly more exciting race to win points at, I’m still happy. P9 for the team and our first points of the season which means a lot to us. You never want to be pointless, especially for the team's morality, so hopefully this will be a nice kickstart to the season.

"It was a bit frustrating out there as you could see how much pace Yuki had but he was managing excessively, so it was a very slow and painful race; I was struggling to stay focused. We’ve added small amounts of performance to the car so it’s good to see these upgrades working and that we’re able to stay around a similar pace to our direct competitors," added Albon.

His team-mate Logan Sargeant had a less successful race as he spent the majority of the Monaco Grand Prix behind the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and the Visa RB of Daniel Ricciardo.

"It was a tricky race and looking at a rear wing was pretty much my day. It was uneventful for the most part; I was stuck underneath Fernando and Danny for a long time, and it just started to eat away at the tyres, and I really had nothing left. The rears completely degraded and from there I was hanging on to the tyres.

"Once I put the new tyre on and got some clear air, I felt good. Alex getting points is a boost for the team and shows a bit of what is to come. Going forward, when both cars have the same spec, we’ll both be able to fight for these opportunities more," the Miami-born driver said.

Speaking of his team's first point-scoring finish in 2024, sporting director Sven Smeets added: "Scoring your first points of the season is always a great feeling, so we’re happy to take P9. Being in Monaco, the foundations for those points were laid yesterday in Qualifying, so it’s great that we had a car which could deliver across the entire weekend for Alex. Today was a bit of a strange race after the Red Flag restart with most cars trying to go to the end.

"Alex managed his Hard tyres well as it was key not to grain the front tyres and keep them in the right window. Logan's race was more difficult as he spent most of the time in traffic but once in clean air, he showed some great pace. We’re looking forward to Canada as we had a great race there last year and should be bringing some weight-saving parts," Smeets concluded.