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Albon 'very underrated' as a driver - Vowles

James Vowles believes Alex Albon has the leadership qualities to bring Williams back to winning ways, after his performance in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Williams Team Principal James Vowles believes Alex Albon is "very underrated" as a driver after a strong run of form. Albon scored Williams' highest points in a dry race since 2017 with seventh at the Canadian Grand Prix, after the team brought significant updates to their car which proved to be an important factor in their performance. The Thai-British driver followed up with a strong performance in Austria to reach Q3, though he narrowly missed out on points when finishing 11th. Vowles previously branded Albon's performance in Canada as a "drive of champions," and now he regards him among some of the great drivers he has worked with while at Mercedes. "I've worked with a good number of [champions]. He didn't put a foot wrong at the point where he's under pressure from four incredibly fast-charging cars behind, on tyres that were [in a] much better state than his," Vowles told the Beyond the Grid podcast. "Some of the work he was doing on repositioning his car on exit of [Turn] 10 and a few other corners was very clever, and he recognises that. "He's obviously not someone that's going to go and boast about it to the world, but for me that was a drive of champions that he did."

Vowles: Albon bringing car to limit of performance

While Williams has been limited in the early stages of the season due to their lack of upgrades, Albon has still impressed by regularly challenging for Q3 in qualifying and nearly finishing in the points again at Melbourne before an unfortunate accident saw him retire. Vowles believes Albon is bringing the FW45 to the "limit of its performance" in his drives, as the team look to improve their points tally and finish further up the Constructors' Championship. He added: "He's definitely bringing the car to the limit of its performance, which is what you're looking for as a driver. I think he's very underrated and I'm incredibly happy that he's here within our organisation and here for a long time."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2