Williams’ Alex Albon, fresh from a stellar performance in Zandvoort, delivered a second consecutive points finish with P7 in Sunday’s Italian GP.
The Anglo-Thai driver as been a standout performer throughout 2023.
Often, he has utilised his car’s low drag design to deliver deliver valuable points for the team.
Albon has been able to frequently showcase the talent that earned him a mid-season promotion to Red Bull back in 2020, when many felt he was unfairly relieved of his drive a season later.
Now, he appears to be thriving in a settled underdog role with Williams, a team in the process of re-building under former Mercedes’ strategist James Vowles’ leadership.
Let’s look at Albon’s performances so far and assess his prospects heading into the final eight rounds of the season.
A natural team leader
Fresh from a year as Red Bull’s reserve driver, Albon has adopted a natural leadership role within the Williams setup alongside rookie Logan Sargeant.
With the security of a multi-year contract announced over the summer break, a new confidence in the driver both on and off track is now present.
Although Williams have progressed from their position of last in the standings, the car is not yet a regular points scoring package.
However, Albon has maximised the car’s straight-line speed advantage to finish inside the top 10 in Monza and on four other occasions this season.
Although the team expected progress, they perhaps did not expect such a points tally with over a third of the season still remaining.
Both Albon and his team understand their car’s strengths and have maximised them where circumstances have allowed.
Often, they have opted for an early pit stop in a Grand Prix. In doing so, they have secured track position facing rivals with with the challenge of overtaking the low-drag Williams.
With a clear understanding between team and driver, Albon is now finding the form that earned him early career praise.
Williams will hope he can build on consecutive points finishes as they target seventh in the constructor’s championship.
Opportunities remaining in 2023
Albon leaves the European portion of the season looking ahead to the remaining circuits that have potential to suit the Williams car.
The inaugural Las Vegas GP in November will host the penultimate race of the year.
Initial circuit map images indicate the track will suit low downforce, boasting a straight stretching over one kilometre in distance.
Then as the season concludes once again in Abu Dhabi, the venue introduced a new circuit layout in 2021 which aided overtaking with redesigned corners.
Williams could be in business at Yas Marina.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton proved overtaking has been aided by the changes during their controversial title showdown that year.
Before both stops however, Sau Paulo and Texas also offer long stretches of flat out asphalt, both of which will benefit teams whose cars can deliver high top-end speeds.
The stakes for Williams and Albon
Williams and Albon in particular can thrive in the season’s final races.
For midfield teams, constructor’s positions are often valued higher than those at the front of the grid.
Direct correlation to next year’s spending budget and testing time mean there is an opportunity to make large performance gains to move up the grid for next term.
Albon will be keen to continue accumulating top 10 finishes. Should the former Red Bull driver continue on his current trajectory, he will be on course to achieve the highest finish by a Williams driver since 2016.
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Sergio Perez claimed victory in last season’s Singapore Grand Prix. Claim odds of 17/2 for the Mexican to repeat his victory this year with William Hill.