Albon given Melbourne grid drop for Stroll clash
Alex Albon has received a three-place grid drop for the Australian Grand Prix after being found to have caused a collision with Lance Stroll in Saudi Arabia.
The incident occurred in the closing stages between two drivers racing towards the rear of a field that had been reduced to only 14 runners after a spate of DNFs and a couple of DNSs.
Williams driver Albon went for a move down the inside of Stroll’s Aston Martin at the first corner on lap 48 of 50 and the two cars made contact, with the Canadian saying over the team radio “that idiot divebombed me”.
Albon had to pull over to the side of the track due to the damage on his FW44, which meant yellow flags were waved in sector one until the end of the race.
Alex and Lance collide at turn 1. Subsequently, Alex is out of the race.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 27, 2022
The FIA statement on the incident read: “The stewards heard from the driver of Car 23 (Alexander Albon), the driver of car 18 (Lance Stroll), team representatives and examined video evidence in relation to the collision.
“Car 23 was attempting to overtake Car 18 on the inside by braking late. In executing the overtaking manoeuvre, Car 23 locked up and collided with Car 18 at the apex of the corner.
“We determined Car 23 was wholly or predominantly to blame for the collision.”
The upshot was a grid drop of three places for Albon at the Australian Grand Prix, the next round of this year’s World Championship, along with two penalty points on his super-licence.
With both drivers again out of the points, their respective teams have yet to trouble the scorers in 2022 as neither Nicholas Latifi nor Nico Hulkenberg – standing in for Covid-19 victim Sebastian Vettel – for Williams and Aston Martin respectively have finished in the top 10 either.
Stroll told Formula1.com after the race: “He dived and I felt like I left room, but I got a thump from behind. I’d have to watch the video though.”
On Aston Martin’s progress, or lack of it, the team owner’s son commented: “I think we have to keep working for the next few races.”