Alex Albon says Williams didn’t show its full potential in the second practice session at the Mexico City Grand Prix after a strong first practice saw him in the top two.
Williams was at the front of the field from the start of Friday’s running at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Albon splitting the two Red Bulls and within 0.1s of pace-setter Max Verstappen in FP1. After ending FP2 in 14th place and over three quarters of a second adrift, Albon says that’s not a true reflection of the performance in the car.
“I don’t think we were slow in the second session,” Albon said. “We had a good first one, definitely better than we expected. I think we just hit the ground running, and a lot of drivers and cars out there weren’t optimized, I think we were definitely already in the window from the first lap we drove.
“We started FP2 in the same rhythm. We were quick on that test tire, and then I just didn’t do a very good lap on the soft tire run, so I don’t think we are top five, maybe top ten, but I think we can fight for Q3 tomorrow.
“Maybe I’ll eat my words, but I think we’ve got a couple of tenths in me, a couple of tenths in the car and then we’ll be OK.”
Having only earmarked Las Vegas as a potentially strong circuit for Williams in the remainder of the season, Albon says the performance in Mexico has come as a surprise.
“Definitely not (expected),” he said. “I think this is one of the circuits that feels bad for everyone. With this kind of downforce it feels like you are sliding around; it’s a bit like a Monza kind of circuit and we seem to do not bad at those kind of circuits. It’s a big step from last year — last year to this year the car feels completely different.
“The car moves around a lot, slides around a lot, which means the tires overheat on the surface quite a lot, but it’s a good challenge. I actually find it quite OK. We’ve obviously had quite a lot of tires today which is always a bit more fun than normal, but it just helps us get into the groove a bit more when you have loads of tires. Our car moves around, it doesn’t matter if it’s high downforce or low downforce, and it feels OK.”