Alex Albon said Williams were in a ‘different ballgame’ when he reached Q3 for the first time this year in Belgium Grand Prix qualifying.
Coming into the weekend the team knew that it could reach at least Q2 due to the straight-line speed of their car, with both Albon and teammate Nicholas Latifi going fastest in practice through the highspeed sector one.
Albon was surprised when they reached Q3 after Latifi was knocked out in Q1, but felt the team maximised everything.
“We knew coming into this week that we tend to suit the low downforce circuits, and we knew this was a chance to get into Q2,” Albon told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“But to get into Q3 is a different ballgame. We were really going for it, we got the tyres in the right window, which has always been something very tricky with these cars this year especially.”
Albon: Q3 slipstream strategy didn’t work
Williams elected to send Albon out without anybody in front of him during his Q3 runs, which meant that he didn’t get the slipstream down the Kemmel Straight.
Albon admitted that it was probably not the best plan, but believed Williams were right to try alternate tactics.
He explained: “We tried something a little bit different for Q3, just to go by itself which in hindsight was probably a little bit worse.
“But if you think about it, we were going to be P10. Normally on paper, regardless, we had to try something a little bit different.”
Belgian GP could be unpredictable due to lack of race runs
With all the penalties applied for the frontrunners, Albon will start the race from P6 on the grid, with Latifi moving up to P11.
Due to the changing weather and red flags interrupting the practice sessions, few teams were able to complete ‘proper’ race runs which, according to Albon, could make the race difficult to read.
“It’s a little bit unpredictable because no one’s really done a proper race run this weekend with the weather,” added Albon.
“Normally our race pace is a little bit stronger than our qualifying pace, but I’m not sure if starting from P6 that will be the case.
“It’s gonna be a real battle when you look at people like Max [Verstappen] and Charles [Leclerc], they’re going to be past everyone by lap five, so let’s keep that in mind and try and get some points.”