Alex Albon fell narrowly short of a points finish at the 2022 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix following a long stint on hard tyres, ultimately passing the chequered flag in P12 whilst Nicholas Latifi crossed the line in P17.
We really fought today and gave it everything we had. I had a tricky start with a flat spot into Turn 1, nursing the fronts for the first 10 laps with huge vibrations, so we had to pit early, but then we were offset. It was a shame, but I don’t think we had the pace for points today, but we were very close. It was tricky out there, and we tried our best and were aggressive on strategy, but with the tyre degradation, I was hoping to try to repeat something like in Spa and hold them off, but the tyres took another step of degradation, and once this happened, I tried to fight but just couldn’t hold them off anymore. Points might have been too much to ask for, but we gave ourselves a good opportunity.
The car was better than I was expecting it to be today, that’s not to say it was still tricky to drive. I made a mistake at the beginning of the race with the spin, getting caught out with the balance in the high-speed corners. I didn’t manage to do any high-fuel race running beforehand, so I was exploring as I was going along. We got back into the race with the Safety Car, but in the end, I was fighting cars that were much quicker behind me to hold them off, which was detrimental to my race but beneficial to help the team. The penalty I received was justified, and I have no issues with it. It wasn’t intentional as I tried to brake as late as I could, but I committed to my braking point, locked up and couldn’t get the car to turn.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance:
It was a tough race today, with both drivers having to pit earlier than planned due to flat-spotting their tyres. Alex locked-up badly at Turn 1 of the first lap and struggled throughout the first stint, but to make the strategy work, we needed to get some laps done before we could pit. He was able to recover later in the race with a well-managed stint on the Prime. As we have seen many times before, he is an excellent racer and can defend brilliantly when required. He was able to hold on to a points-scoring position until just a few laps from the end despite suffering some driveability issues in the final stint. It was a frustrating end to the race, but given where we were after the early first stop, it was a good recovery from Alex and his team. Nicholas had a more frustrating race and struggled more with his car. However, he was able to race the faster cars that pitted behind him, holding them up from catching Alex. We thought that the FW44 would struggle in these conditions and at this circuit, and it has certainly been a tricky few days. It was a shame to get this close to the points, but the result nonetheless represents a good weekend from the team in Austin and back in Grove.
We now turn our attention to Mexico, where we will look to build on what we did here in Austin.
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