Williams team principal Jost Capito has described Alex Albon’s point in Melbourne as a “relief” for the team, now they are off and running in the Constructors’ standings.
Albon went from being excluded from the qualifying results and starting last on the grid to pulling off an audacious strategy by only stopping on the penultimate lap at Albert Park to take an unlikely P10 finish for Williams, much to the team’s delight.
That result now leaves Aston Martin as the only constructor yet to get off the mark, and Capito took it as a sign of how the team can improve in the coming races after a start to the year that has seen them largely off the pace of the midfield.
“It’s a relief for the team,” said Capito, quoted by the French edition of Motorsport.com. “To get a point early in the season is pretty encouraging. We’ve had a very difficult start to the year.
#OnThisDay in 1942, the late great Sir Frank Williams was born.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) April 16, 2022
“The weekend was also complicated after Saturday. But it was better in the race – things can change on Sunday. And it’s not over until it’s over.
“If you keep pushing and keep motivated and keep the team alive, keep believing in them in the difficult moments, the luck can change. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.”
Albon’s strategy in the race ended up becoming a masterstroke, with Pirelli lauding his efforts and saying they had not seen a move like that pay off in 12 years.
Capito admitted the team did not know how the tyres would react in the race, but starting close to the back gave them the opportunity to try something different as they looked to get further up the field.
The Thai driver took his Williams up to P7 on the road after staying out during both Safety Car periods in Melbourne, pushing on as far as he could – which paid dividends in the form of his first point of the year.
“It came as the race went on,” the team principal added of how Albon’s strategy had played out. “I think when you are finally seventh, you want to enjoy it as long as possible,” he said.
“We didn’t have the knowledge of the tyres and that’s a problem. We had kept the two prime (hard) compounds for each car so we hadn’t tested them at all, all weekend.
“So we had no real idea [of their behaviour]. We knew from the past the primes are really good for us. So we were hoping that would show up there as well.
“Before the race we said we just had to get to grips with the tyres. If you are 18th and 20th on the grid, there’s no point in attacking too hard. You have to study the tyres and then see what happens when you move up the pack. That’s what we did. The co-operation was very good on the pit wall.”
Albon puts in sterling drive in Melbourne
Nicholas Latifi struggled all weekend, but Alex Albon's mega effort secured a point for Williams.