Albon rues lack of downforce for Williams troublesome Barcelona weekend

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Williams drivers Alexander Albon called the Barcelona weekend a "reality check" after the outfit spent most of the Spanish Grand Prix languish in the final spots.

Alexander Albon started the race from the pit lane after changing some PU components overnight, but he managed to close in on his team-mate.

The Thai driver was the only driver to gamble on a medium tyre start, but he didn’t help his chances by running through the gravel late on. The London-born driver took the chequered flag in P18 with only Yuki Tunoda and Logan Sargeant finishing behind.

"We wanted more this weekend. On the one hand, the car has made a huge step forward compared to last year and we made the right choices throughout the race. 

"At the same time, this track is a bit of reality check. On a more traditional track, our lack of downforce and extra weight combined with high winds and track temperatures held us back.

"With the midfield getting stronger, it's clear we've got work to do. Looking ahead, Austria and Silverstone should suit us much more," noted Albon.

His team-mate Logan Sargeant finished last at yesterday's Spanish Grand Prix, and expressed his frustration about tyre degradation of his FW48.

The American driver claimed that he needed to look after his tyres from the first laps of his stints, so severe was the tyre degradation despite the temperatures having been a bit lower than on Friday.

"That was one of the toughest races of the year. The degradation was accumulating so quickly that it felt like I was managing the tyre from lap one on every stint.

"It’s been a difficult weekend for the team. Like last year, we struggled in Barcelona but had strong performances in Austria and Silverstone, so we’ll look to move on and bounce back at the remaining races of this triple-header.

Williams Sporting Director Sven Smeets was left puzzled by the lack of performance after the Friday running had suggested that the team has made improved compared to last year.

The Briton indicated that the wind was again a big factor in Williams' struggles at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"We had a very difficult afternoon as we lacked the pace to be able to fight for a good finish. We will work hard to understand why we lacked pace as some of the Free Practice sessions showed signs of improvement in comparison to last year. The track was hotter than anticipated and the wind played a part in our low performance.

"From tomorrow onwards, we will be turning our focus towards Spielberg as it should be a track that suits us better. It’s very tight in the midfield and every point counts, so we’ll have to be on top of our game in every race until the end of the year," Smeets noted.