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Alexander Albon

Albon thought of Williams crash woe 'as soon as he hit the wall'

Williams' crash woes continued in Japan following an opening lap accident involving Alex Albon.

Albon crash Japan
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Alex Albon has conceded that his first thought after his latest accident for Williams was how it would again heavily impact the F1 team.

On this occasion, Albon was entirely innocent of blame as there was nothing he could do about the opening-lap crash with RB's Daniel Ricciardo in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

As the midfield naturally jostled for position through the initial corners, on the approach to Turn 3, Ricciardo took the racing line as he was concerned about Aston Martin's Lance Stroll on his inside, but without being aware of Albon to his right.

The result saw the front-left of Albon's Williams hit the right-rear on Ricciardo's car, sending both into a tyre barrier, sparkling an immediate red flag and a 32-minute delay.

Explaining the incident, Albon said: "Obviously the softs compared to the mediums, I had a grip advantage [compared to Ricciardo].

"I was kind of surprised at the grip I had out of [Turn] 2, and I could pull underneath him. I had a good run into 3. It was more about just trying to get him a little bit offline and trying to find a way through 4, 5, 6, 7, to see if I could upset his line a little bit.

"It was just one of those things. He clearly didn't see me. I tried to back out of it last minute. There was a moment I realised he hadn't seen me, and the way he was pulling across, it was tricky. So I hit the brakes, tried to get out of it, but I was almost too far alongside him.

"As I tried to back out of it, he was still coming across and I couldn't avoid it."

'It's not what we want'

Williams is still reeling from Albon's practice crash in Australia which, due to a lack of a spare chassis, forced team-mate Logan Sargeant to cede his car for qualifying and the race to the Thai-British driver.

Team principal James Vowles has previously confirmed there will be no spare until the Miami Grand Prix, leaving the team on a knife edge to see if any damage has been sustained to the tub on this occasion.

Albon is concerned. He said: "It's not what we want. It's no secret that we are having a tough time of it at the moment with the parts we've got, and this is going to hurt us.

"The impact itself was relatively low speed, but it was the way I hit the tyre wall. Normally, we have these kinds of plastic barriers, but this was much more dug in and it [the car] stopped very violently. They are the questions I'm worried about, not for me, it's the car. That's where you can do damage."

As to how early the possible consequences of this crash preyed on his mind, he replied: "Immediately! As soon as I hit the wall.

"It's exactly what we don't need. We need to assess it and try to come back stronger for China."

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