Penalty caps miserable Spanish GP for Albon

Sam Cooper
Alex Albon arriving at the track. Barcelona, May 2022.

Williams' Alex Albon arrives at the track ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, May 2022.

Alex Albon’s miserable Spanish Grand Prix took another turn for the worst post-race when he was handed a five-second penalty.

Having impressed last time out in Miami with another point-scoring finish, Albon would have been hoping to continue that form in Barcelona but it seems the red-hair luck may have run out.

He was only able to qualify P18 and in Sunday’s race, he was unable to improve that standing, finishing two laps behind race leader Max Verstappen.

The Williams driver may have been thinking his afternoon could not get much worse only to then be hit with a five-second penalty post-race for leaving the track without a justifiable reason multiple times.

He was also handed a penalty point, taking him up to a total of three for the 12 month period.

The Spanish Grand Prix represents the first time this season that Albon has been beaten by his team-mate Nicholas Latifi having previously finished at least three places ahead of the Canadian in every race the pair of them finished.

Albon also pitted the most of any driver on the grid having stopped four times for fresh tyres.

Speaking before the race, the 26-year-old had seemed optimistic about both his chances in Barcelona as well as the season as a whole.

“Even in winter testing, I felt pretty, I wouldn’t say on top of it, but I felt like I didn’t lose too much in the year out,” he said.

“I think the regulation reset helped a lot as well, everyone was trying to learn the cars. It made it a bit more of an even playing field. But I do feel like as time has gone by, I’ve been improving every weekend.

“To say that I’m not at my top? No, I still think there’s always more, but I’m sure it’s the same for every driver as well. I would say as well that, as a team, going through the year, so far, we’ve we have been improving the car.

“So I feel like it’s been a good year so far and I feel like the results have reflected that in a way, that, you know, we’re going in the right way.

“But also, I do think, you know, the car is, in certain conditions, in certain races, we do seem to be able to be able to fight with the midfield. And that’s something which we’re trying to unlock more and more. And I think, for us, it’s also a little bit of tyre work that we’re struggling with, also myself, trying to find where the sweet spot is, and all that kind of stuff.

“But it’s been a good start to the year. And I think just looking at it as a global overview, there’s still potential there. I know there is potential there. So yeah, hopefully we’ll get some more points.”