Alex Albon has discussed his “really strange” Spanish Grand Prix in which whatever he tried, he could not stop his tyres from degrading.
Tyre wear in red-hot conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a key factor in round six of the World Championship, with most of the field adopting a three-stop strategy.
Albon went one step further with a fourth stop and the Williams driver, who has scored points on two occasions this season, ended up last of the 18 finishers having also incurred a five-second penalty.
But he did not think his result – he finished two places behind team-mate Nicholas Latifi – was down to the frequent number of visits to the pits. Indeed, the Thai driver felt he could have ‘boxed’ a couple more times and it would not have cost him much more ground.
The 26-year-old revealed his tyres had even been degrading on the reconnaissance laps on the way to the grid.
One long afternoon and a weekend to forget 🥵 floor damage early on ruined our race and then we were just surviving. Onwards to Monaco where we’ll bounce back! 👊 pic.twitter.com/mPF8DFo4NM
— Alex Albon (@alex_albon) May 23, 2022
“It was the same in the race,” said Albon, quoted by Motorsport.com. “It was a four-stop, we could have done a five or a six-stop and it would have only been a bit quicker.
“There was just incredible degradation – I think I was 20kph slower than everyone else in Turn 3 and Turn 9 and just struggling out there.
“We are not normally that bad. I think there was something [on the car], I think we need to check because I don’t think it was normal. We’ll have a look.”
In terms of trying to preserve his tyres as much as possible, Albon said he “couldn’t drive slow enough”.
He added: “I was driving as slow as I could and the tyres were still going off, and not just a little bit.
“I was driving my first three laps two and a half to three seconds slower than I would normally, and still degrading massively. I was losing seconds straight away after the first lap.
“So it was a bit strange and, as I said, it wasn’t normal. The deg was high and we expected that, but what we had was a bit strange.”
Albon said it was certainly an unusual scenario for Williams, especially as he had made a set of hard tyres last almost the entire duration of the race to score a point at the Australian Grand Prix and had also thrived in the heat to bag P9 in Miami.
“Our pace has been pretty good this year,” said Albon. “I think there was an actual issue with the car. I don’t know if it was debris or something, but we’ll have a look at it.”