Williams explain cause of Alex Albon’s Australian GP-ending shunt

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Albon exiting his Williams after crashing. Australia, April 2023.

Alex Albon exiting his Williams after crashing out of the race. Australia, April 2023.

Williams team boss James Vowles revealed a chain of events had caused Alex Albon to spin off and out of the Australian Grand Prix.

Albon triggered the first red flag stoppage of a chaotic race at Albert Park after he lost control of the Williams FW45 coming out of Turn 6, causing him to hit the wall as his race came to an early end.

It was a bitter disappointment for Albon who had been running in the lofty heights of P6 at the time, though fortunately he walked away from the incident unharmed.

And in a post-race social media video, Vowles would explain what led to Albon crashing out of the race, explaining how a compromised run through Turn 5 led to a drop in grip for the following corner, sending Albon into that race-ending spin.

“What happened with Alex is very difficult to explain when you first look at the data,” Vowles began.

“He went through Turn 5 then into Turn 6 slower than he had on the previous lap and yet the rear came round immediately and he lost control of the car. There’s nothing he could have done to correct that.

“He went through [Turn 5] and actually realised it was a little bit too much speed for that corner and had to lift ever so slightly, but he ran out wide.

“And when he ran out wide that rear left tyre was now actually just oscillating on the kerb on exit.

“As he turned into Turn 6, he just simply did not have the rear grip that he was expecting to have previously and that’s what ended his race.”

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In a race filled with collisions and multiple red flag stoppages, it is safe to say that if Albon had have avoided this error, then he and Williams could potentially have been looking at a big haul of points.

Nonetheless, it has still been a very strong start to the campaign for Albon, who in qualifying a mighty P8 and then rising to P6 on race day, was performing to a level in that Williams FW45 which turned a lot of heads.

The Thai racer will hope to continue that form into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when Formula 1 returns from its early-season break, another track where Williams will hope to excel as that huge start-finish straight should compliment their straight-line speed efficiency very nicely indeed.