Williams fined for using mixed set of tyres on Alex Albon’s car in FP3

Henry Valantine
Williams driver Alex Albon. Japan October 2022.

Alex Albon drives for Williams in a special edition helmet. Suzuka October 2022.

Williams have received a fine for using tyres from two different sets for Alex Albon during free practice at Suzuka on Saturday.

The team will have to pay €1,000 to the FIA for their error, which breached Article 30.2 b) of the sporting regulations, which disallows teams from mixing and matching different tyres from different sets.

This is the second time Williams have got into trouble for a tyre-related offence this season, with another €1000 fine having come at July’s Hungarian Grand Prix, when an “administrative lapse” saw the team fit a set of tyres to Albon’s car in FP1 which had already been electronically returned to Pirelli.

The FIA’s verdict read: “The Stewards heard from the team representative, the Technical Delegate and the F1 Technical Assistant. The team agreed with the report that 3 tyres from set 202 were used and 1 from set 203 and conceded this was a breach of the regulations.

“Taking into account the Decision of the Stewards (Doc 28) from the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix which although relating to a different regulation, is a similar administrative/operational error, the penalty is deemed to be appropriate.”

It was a qualifying session to forget for Williams overall on Saturday, with both Albon and Nicholas Latifi having dropped out in Q1 at Suzuka.

Albon will line up P16 for Sunday’s race, while Latifi had already qualified slowest of the 20 drivers, rendering the five-place grid penalty hanging over him heading into the weekend for causing a collision with Zhou Guanyu in Singapore irrelevant.

Albon’s former Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen will start from pole position as he aims to wrap up the World Championship with four races to spare, out-qualifying the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz by just a few hundredths of a second.

Read more: Lando Norris expected Max Verstappen penalty after Suzuka near-miss