Albon: Final races about ‘holding on’ to P7 for Williams

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Alex Albon says Williams’ prime objective in the final three races of the season is to defend its P7 position in F1’s Constructors’ standings against the always improving AlphaTauri squad.

On the back of the latest developments implemented on its AT04, AlphaTauri has jumped from 10th to P8 in the championship, and the Italian outfit now sits just 12 points behind Williams.

Unfortunately, the Grove-based outfit’s performance has stagnated in the back half of the season, due in large part to the team switching its resources relatively early towards its 2024 car. It has therefore lacked upgrades compared to its direct rivals.

Last weekend in Mexico City, Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive performance in qualifying and run to seventh on race day was another shot across the bow for Williams that reminded the team that AlphaTauri is breathing down its neck.

"I think the threat is very real,” said Albon ahead of this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

“They put on their upgrade, and I think straight away made a big step, and at the same time, they seemed to unlock it more and more through the year.

“So they've overtaken us in terms of pace, that it's pretty clear. They've gone to a couple of tracks, and I think this track will be another example, that suits their car quite well. They seem to be very strong in low-speed corners. So it's going be tough.

“The last few races are more about holding on than anything else. But you don't want to have that mindset. You still want to be aggressive and push on. But it will be tricky.”

Despite the risk of Williams losing its hard-earned seventh-place in F1’s pecking order, Albon believes that the team’s decision to focus on next season was the right call.

“We've taken the choice to just stop upgrading our car since we put on the upgrade, which was in Canada,” he said.

“And so for us, a lot of it's now about next year. Of course, it would be a shame to lose out to P7. But I still think it's the right thing to do.

"We still have a competitive car, even if it's not as competitive, let's say, or it sounds weird to say it, but it's a little bit old, even though it's four months old or whatever it is!”

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