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Albon surprised by points finish after Williams predicted P19

Thanks to a gamble on an unusual strategy, Alex Albon scored his and the Williams team's first points of the 2022 season at the Australian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon admits that his return to the points at the Australian Grand Prix came as a huge surprise, having been expecting to finish P19 at best. The British-Thai driver started the race from the back of the field, after being disqualified from qualifying due to the FIA being unable to extract the one litre of fuel required from his car for their scrutineering checks. As a result, Albon and the Williams team did not have high hopes for what could be achieved in Sunday's race, yet found themselves scoring their first point of the season by finishing P10. "We went into this race thinking the best position we could finish was 19th," Albon admitted after the Grand Prix. "And it wasn't like a close 19th, it was a little bit in no man's land, so it was a bit of a surprise."

Albon admits strategy gamble paid off

Given their expectations of a difficult race ahead, it was decided to run an unusual strategy for Albon. The former Red Bull man used the same set of Hard tyres for 57 laps of the 58-lap event, and made a pit-stop on the final lap to switch to the Soft compound. "We took a gamble," Albon explained. "We just thought, 'Why not change the strategy to everyone else? If we're going to finish 19th, we might as well try something new'. "The tyre lasted, it was amazing. We found that that tyre suits our car really well." After a challenging start to the 2022 campaign, Albon is pleased to see Williams experience some success. "That's the result, so I'm super happy, obviously," he added. "The team deserve it. It's obviously been a tough start to the season, but to get a point is special."

"Surreal" to have great pace on old tyres

Albon was surprised by how much pace he still had as the race went on, despite the age of his tyres. "It was one of [those] things," the driver reflected. "Everyone around us had 20-lap fresher tyres most of the time. I think there was a Haas in front of me [at one stage], and I was like, 'I'm just staying with him, and that's stopping everyone overtaking me.' "Once he boxed, I was like, 'Okay, well, the train is going to pass me now.' But we had great pace, and we were pulling away. "It was a bit surreal to do that but, yeah, very special."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - FP2