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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

Albon fulfilled “scary” expectations of Las Vegas F1 form

Alex Abon says he fulfilled “scary” expectations around the form of his Williams Formula 1 team by qualifying sixth for the Las Vegas GP.

Alex Albon, Williams FW452

Ahead of the event Albon was hopeful that the long straights and low ambient temperatures would favour the FW45 relative to Williams' rivals.  

From the start of track action he figured at the sharp end, taking sixth in FP3 despite contact with the wall that led to a red flag and a premature end for the session.

After that Albon admitted he took time to build up his confidence and get back up to speed in qualifying.

However he was sixth in Q2 and again in Q3, with Logan Sargeant backing him up in seventh in the latter. Both men gain a place on the final grid from Carlos Sainz’s penalty.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he’d done better than expected Albon replied: “Yeah, I would say so.

“Possibly some cars didn't get it right, so always flatters you a little bit more, but we executed very well.

“It's sometimes a bit scary, you always talk about Vegas coming up, because it's the track that's going to suit you.

“We've done three or four races now which we knew weren't going to suit us. So there's a bit of expectation and pressure to deliver from the whole team. And we've delivered that, so very happy.

“It is one of those tracks that was always going to suit us efficiency-wise, because even more slippery than Monza, and that proved it.

“Logan also had an amazing qualifying session, I think, because the car has been good. And it is about now trying to finish the job [in the race].”

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While the straightline speed of the Williams will to some degree help to protect its drivers from attack in the race Albon made it clear that Saturday evening will be all about tyres.

“If there's graining, anyone can be overtaken,” he said. “When the graining comes in, the cars are going about a second, a second and a half a lap slower. And then you're vulnerable to everyone.

“The trick is to not get the graining and that's not that easy. We had quite bad graining on Friday. We did some set-up changes, which maybe went against the qualifying car, but focused more on the race car. Hopefully that will help us.”

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