Alex Albon fears Williams are heading into a barren run that could last six races until Las Vegas as hot tracks have not been kind to his Williams with its tyre degradation.
Rebuilding his Formula 1 career after the blow of being dropped by Red Bull at the end of the 2020 season, Albon has single-handedly put Williams up into seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Scoring three times in the last five races, including a first for the season when he went back-to-back at Zandvoort and Monza, he’s brought the team’s tally up to 21 points. That’s put them 10 points clear of Haas.
Alex Albon highlights the importance of his Italian GP points
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
He, however, fears that could be the end of his scoring opportunities for the next few races, maybe even for the next season.
Formula 1 heads next to Singapore, followed by Japan and Qatar, all races that are known for sweltering track temperatures.
That Texas, Mexico, and Brazil come after that has Albon fearing Williams’ celebrations will be curtailed until November’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.
“I think it’s a good step [in the championship],” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“I worry about tracks like Brazil, you know about these kinds of races, but I hope we’re in a better place now.
“We needed that because I don’t think, I mean the next few races we’re not really going to stand a chance until Vegas.
“Not to say that we’re going to take our foot off the pedal but a good points finish here was what we needed.”
Asked if Williams’ progress when it comes to downforce means maybe it won’t be as bad as he thinks it could be, he replied: “Exactly, for sure.
“I think we still see our weaknesses. We are low downforce.
“We are better than we were last year but especially when a track gets too hot and the deg is high we really struggled and this [Brazil] was a race where we struggled on a track that should suit us.
“I think if the track was 20 degrees colder we would’ve been really fast. So some work to do.
“We go to Asia now where it gets hot, go to America where it’s kind of hot as well.”
Albon’s assessment is bad news for Logan Sargeant
Albon’s assessment is not good news for his teammate Logan Sargeant with the rookie needing to get off the mark to secure his Williams race seat.
Lagging behind Albon in his debut season, Sargeant has all too often qualified near the back of the grid although in the last two races, Zandvoort and Monza, he made it out of Q1 and even progressed to Q3 at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Alas, points were still not forthcoming with his best result to date a P11 at the British Grand Prix.
His team boss James Vowles has made it clear that progress and points are needed if wants to remain with Williams next season.
“The comment I’ve given him is this: It’s a meritocracy. You’re not here just because we want you to be here. You have to earn your place,” Vowles told Sky Sports at Monza.
“This is the pinnacle of motorsport, and what I’m asking for you is follow this general guidance, follow this development path, keep moving forward relative to Alex and there’s a place for you here with your name on it.
“Before then, there’s points with your name on it.”