Williams Racing drivers Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi finished the first sprint race of the 2022 F1 season in 18th and 19th place respectively. The positions in which they finished in the short fierce race on Saturday will also determine the starting grid for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Alex Albon drove the 21-lap race on the soft Pirelli tyres, Nicholas Latifi drove the medium compound with a different strategy. Both drivers initially gained some positions, but dropped back as the race progressed.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: It was good to see the car in dry conditions and we were quite happy with what we found in FP2. In the Sprint we expected relegation on the Soft tire but we felt that overall it was the best chance for Alex to make progress. With most of the other drivers taking the same pick, there was less chance than we had hoped, but he was still able to improve his starting position for tomorrow. Nicholas chose the Medium compound hoping to gain people by the end of the race, but he too suffered some relegation, denying him this opportunity. The forecast for tomorrow looks mixed and with the Grand Prix offering more strategic options than the Sprint, there is still a lot to unfold in Imola.
Alex Albon: It was a tough day. We weren’t quite up to the pace of the other cars around us, so I had to push harder, which destroys the tires. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. We seem to have a bit more trouble with the softer tires so we have to keep working on that. We made up a few places for the race, so tonight we will focus on what we can do in the race and keep pushing.
Nicholas Latifi: It was a difficult afternoon for us. It was good to get the first F1 Sprint event of the year under our belts, but we seemed to be struggling. We’ve tried something different than most of the field, but we need to see what we can do to improve our race management and overall pace for tomorrow. It’s a longer race so there may be opportunities and hopefully we can finish our weekend better.