Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Missed out on points: Williams blame Sergio Perez!

An incident between Alex Albon and Sergio Perez away from the TV cameras may have cost Williams important points in Singapore

Formula 1 made a guest appearance in Singapore in mid-September and the 62-lap race had it all. Williams had a driver on course for points in Alex Albon, but contact with Sergio Perez away from the TV cameras prevented a top-10 result. The Mexican received a five-second penalty and a penalty point for the contact with Albon. Williams is upset after the accident, as Albon only finished eleventh.

Because of the virtual safety car, Albon came into the pits for a tyre change. This meant the team followed Mercedes’ strategy, which seemed to pay off as both Mercedes and Williams had good pace at the end of the race. Albon was chasing tenth-placed Liam Lawson when Perez collided with the Briton of Thai descent in an attempt to overtake.

According to team boss James Vowles, an eighth place finish for Williams was possible as Albon was faster than Lawson and could have overtaken George Russell, who crashed on the final lap of the Grand Prix. The collision with Perez meant Williams potentially lost four points, all the more bitter for the team as Kevin Magnussen in Haas finished tenth to pick up a point and cut the gap in the Constructors’ Championship to nine points.

Points were “stolen “

“We’ve had a few points stolen from us”, “It’s frustrating because every point counts in the championship. We are ahead of our direct rivals and then to lose points in this way really hurts. Above all it was unnecessary because it was a senseless manoeuvre because there are sensible overtaking manoeuvres and that wasn’t the case.”

Vowles is not criticising the Mexican’s aggressiveness in the Red Bull, but his decision not to back off at the crucial moment. “Alex was already clear on the line and that’s how the contact with the side box happened. It shouldn’t have happened like that. It’s very frustrating because it’s all about very small gaps. This could be decisive for our World Championship ranking. “

However, Williams is taking a lot of positives from Singapore. “We made some good decisions,” said the team boss, who was pleased with the tyre choice. “We decided weeks ago to take two mediums. That paid off when the virtual safety car came. To take an opportunity like that is fantastic and it was great to see Alex fighting. “

Williams on the high?

Singapore is a track that does not suit the Williams car perfectly, which is why Vowles is hoping for more good races from his racing team in the 2023 season. “We haven’t had a car in Q2 here since 2016,” he says. “We will be competitive again, but not at the level of Zandvoort. There are opportunities, but also for the competition to get good results. It can go both ways.”

Williams has managed to develop the car in such a way that they can fight for points at any time, he said. But for that to happen, the strategy has to be right every time. “We want to continue like this now and we have to show the competition that we are continuing to learn and improve. We want to fight for every possible point or at least finish ahead of all our direct rivals.” The next Formula 1 race will take place in Suzuka, Japan.



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