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Albon Saudi GP 2024

Albon’s 11th Place and Haas F1’s Clever Strategy

09/03/2024

Alex Albon narrowly missed a point at the Saudi Arabian GP due to Haas F1’s tactical move, impacting the race’s outcome.

Alex Albon finished 11th at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and could have scored a point if not for Haas F1’s strategy, which had Kevin Magnussen slow down the pack to allow Nico Hülkenberg to claim the tenth position and the accompanying point.

“It was a good race from Haas, I told Nico he owes Kevin his bonus for the tenth place because it was a very strategically played team game,” Albon stated. “It was frustrating, the Haas turned into a Williams, it’s a rocket on the straights! And it’s tough, it wasn’t a Williams-like weekend for us, but we had good pace.”

Having been overtaken off-track by Magnussen, he downplays his rival’s mistake: “For me, it’s a racing incident. I don’t like such turns, on recent tracks there are many turns where one has to dodge the inside walls to make the turn, then switch back, ending up blocking the outside driver.”

And if he downplays Magnussen’s error, it’s also because he did the same in overtaking Yuki Tsunoda. A move that still surprises him: “It’s not really Williams-like! We’re good at braking this year, it’s an area we’ve focused on heavily.”

“And when I passed him, I could understand Kevin’s problem, because I thought I had made the same mistake Kevin did on me. But it was an acceptable race. Nico scores a point, it’s not great for the championship as it’s hard to score points in the midfield if there are no retirements. This time it’s Nico, next time it’ll be us!”

Now, he looks forward to Melbourne with a better understanding of the FW46: “We were good there last year. I like this track, we’ll see, we need to reduce downforce, have less drag and explore rear wing options. This weekend, we aimed to have the most efficient car, but it had too much drag and we paid the price. We’ll try to have more top speed.”

Logan Sargeant laments taking too long to reach his car’s limits: “It wasn’t bad, I had a good start and the beginning of the race was good, but I struggled to reach the potential. I could exploit the potential at the end but it took me too long to realize it was there,” notes the American.

He hopes to do better in two weeks: “Australia is often a similar race, I need to understand what was left to exploit from the car and maximize the potential.”

Albon Saudi GP 2024. Albon Saudi GP 2024

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