As the majority of the teams head to Las Vegas worried about the cold temperatures at night, Alex Albon believes that could be just one advantage for Williams as the “stars hopefully align”.
Formula 1 is racing around the Las Vegas Strip this weekend, 50 laps on what the forecast says will be cold, and potentially wet, nights.
With qualifying taking place at midnight and the Grand Prix at 10 pm, the temperatures could plummet to 9’C on Saturday night and only 8’C on Sunday.
Could Williams be in the points at the Las Vegas GP?
The teams in general are worried about getting their Pirelli tyres to operate in such cold conditions.
But not Albon.
In fact, between the temperatures and the track’s “simple” layout, the Thai-British racer is targeting points in Sin City.
“For Vegas, the stars should hopefully align,” the Williams driver said as per Motorsport.com. “It’s a track that should suit us in terms of its layout, but it should also suit us in terms of its temperature.
“So qualifying is going to be a real big interest I think for everyone to try to get the tyres to work in that temperature. That really won’t be easy. But that suits us much more.
“It’s quite a simple circuit in terms of its layout, it’s quite easy to learn. The track is quite interesting, there’s quite a few combined corners, which are not easy for front-locking, which is not great for our car, but that’s fine.
“The one thing which will be interesting is the roughness and the bumps of the track, how well of a job have they done or not.
“And also, I think in terms of racing, there’s going to be a lot of overtakes, because at least from what I drove, there’s a lot of opportunities, a lot of places you can overtake. So let’s see, but it’s okay. I actually didn’t mind it.”
Alex Albon explains ‘a lot of overtakes’ comments
Those opportunities to overtake could, however, be lost in Sector 3 where Albon fears the long straight could make it difficult to stick close to the car ahead while the slow corners could also be an issue.
“In its layout, the straights are absolutely massive,” he said. “For example, Mexico, there should be more overtaking than there is. I mean, there is a massive straight. But the way that the Sector 3 is designed is not good for racing. And so it’s so hard to stay close out of the last corner.
“There’s one example of that in Vegas, where technically there should be an overtaking spot straight, but the corners before don’t allow you to say that close.
“Everyone thinks it’s the high-speed corners that it’s harder to stay close. And it’s not, it’s really the low-speed corners that we struggle to stay close, because the front end in these cars is so difficult, especially when the cars are so heavy.
“As soon as you lose the front in the low speed, you’re gone. But in Vegas, especially coming out of the last corner into Turn 1, it’s a corner that’s not that hard to stay close. So I think you’ll get quite a lot of overtaking. I hope it’s not too easy.”
Williams go into the race, the second last on the calendar, seventh in the Constructors’ Championship on 28 points, seven ahead of AlphaTauri.