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Albon looking forward to 'challenges' of his first-ever Sprint event

Whilst most of the 2022 F1 grid are familiar with the Sprint format, there are a small number for whom it will be a new experience. Alex Albon is amongst those taking part for the first time.

Alex Albon admits he is keen to face the challenges of his first-ever Sprint at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as well as hoping to capitalise on any opportunities it may present. The new format made its debut at three race weekends during the 2021 F1 season, and will again be held at three Grands Prix in 2022, with Imola being the first. Given that Albon spent last year on the sidelines as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull, he has yet to take part in a Sprint race, but is hopeful about what he can achieve in the upcoming event. "It's my first time competing in the Sprint event format, so I'm looking forward to the slightly different approach to the weekend and both the challenges and opportunities it will bring," the British-Thai driver said in Williams' race preview.

Can Albon continue the Williams momentum?

Albon scored Williams' first point of the campaign last time out in Australia, with the team opting to run an unusual strategy where the driver used the same set of Hard compound tyres for 57 laps of the 58-lap race. He is now hoping that the momentum can be carried through to Imola. "Historically the team have gone quite well at Imola, so we'll get our heads down and see what we can do," Albon commented. "We had a great race out in Melbourne and the team did an incredible job with the strategy, so hopefully we can use that momentum to keep pushing this weekend."

Sprint provides "additional challenge" for the teams

Aside from Albon's points finish in Melbourne, Williams have not had the easiest start to the 2022 season, with Nicholas Latifi yet to record a result higher than P16. However, the Canadian driver is looking forward to seeing what the Sprint can bring at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. "I'm super excited to hit the track in Imola," Latifi explained. "It's the first Sprint event of the year so I'm looking forward to that format and the opportunities it offers. It also provides an additional challenge for the teams, which will be even more interesting whilst we are still learning about these new cars. "The Emilia Romagna track is one that has tended to suit our car in previous years and it's certainly one that I enjoy driving; a real old school circuit with a lot of great corners and curbs. I'm looking forward to it!"

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix