Williams’ tyre woes worse than anticipated at Spa, say drivers

The Williams drivers have been stunned to come across extreme rear tyre degradation within the Belgian Grand Prix which compelled them to pit extra usually than their rivals.

The pair failed to achieve Q2 on Friday, although they did attain the second spherical in Saturday’s qualifying session for the dash race. Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant completed twelfth and a penalised sixteenth respectively within the dash race, and in Sunday’s race their tyre hassle restricted them to 14th and seventeenth.

“It didn’t go our manner, for positive. As a crew we struggled lots with rear degradation, particularly on that medium tyre,” rued Sargeant.

“It was only a actually tough automobile to drive in the present day. Perhaps it’s to do with the low downforce set-up that we went for, we simply struggled to maintain the tyres alive.

“I may see Alex forward, we each had a extremely, actually good first six, seven laps. However I feel we left that first cease too late.

“That apart, we didn’t have the tempo in the present day. It was a irritating day, and we weren’t anticipating that degree of degradation. We got here in fairly optimistic and it hasn’t panned out the best way we needed it to.”

Sargeant stated they should “undoubtedly regroup, see what occurred and try to come again higher.”

Whereas most drivers most popular two-stop methods, and a handful made only one, the Williams drivers have been nearly alone in coming in thrice. Lewis Hamilton made three pit stops however his final was finished with a view to declare the quickest lap bonus level.

Williams’ drivers pitted thrice as a result of their tyre struggles. “We needed to make that decision to go to the three-stop, simply with the extent of degradation we had,” stated Sargeant. “It ended up giving us a greater finish end result I feel.

“I can’t actually clarify why we had that degree of degradation. I’m unsure any of us can. So we’re going to must dig into it and see why.”

Albon stated he “knew the beginning was good”, as he climbed from fifteenth to seventh in 5 laps. Nonetheless he was “nearly stunned that I fell out of the factors across the mid stint”. He pitted on lap seven, was in tenth as soon as everybody else had pitted, and once more after the second stops, however then began to lose extra locations.

“On the finish of the stint there, simply battling deg. It was a tough race the entire race, as a result of we have been operating that low downforce, which is nice enjoyable in some methods and in different methods, particularly while you undergo like sector two, it’s not that enjoyable anymore. And it’s simply degrading the tyres a lot.

“We noticed it already on the moist tyres, we predicted a variety of deg for us. Nevertheless it was a little bit of a wake-up name simply how a lot deg we did have in the present day, significantly on that medium tyre.”

Making an attempt to maintain different vehicles behind precipitated Albon to place his tyres underneath even higher pressure.

“To race the vehicles round me, I used to be principally having to over-push in sector two as a result of as quickly as I backed off one nook, as quickly as I attempted to handle the tyre within the locations you could – flip 10, flip 11, flip 12 – I used to be instantly underneath hearth. I nearly instantly obtained overtaken by the automobile behind.

“So I needed to nearly over-push the tyre to remain in entrance. After which it’s a vicious cycle since you then degrade extra, and also you’re already making an attempt to avoid wasting the tyre however you’re not allowed to, you don’t have the liberty.”

Albon thought Williams “would do higher” at Spa-Francorchamps, and understanding their struggles shall be key for once they go to Monza – one other low-downforce circuit that Williams predicts would swimsuit them. “That’s actually going to be our subsequent greatest probability to attain factors,” he stated.

The mid-race rain got here as an sudden reduction, Albon added. “When it began to rain, it cooled my tyres down, and it gave me extra grip than I had within the dry,” he defined. “So I truly caught [drivers who passed me] again up once more, and truly had a resurgence of tempo, which simply exhibits you ways a lot overheating we have been doing.”

Albon lap occasions comparability

How Albon’s lap occasions in contrast with these of Esteban Ocon, the motive force forward of him when the rain started:

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2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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