Albon caught out by ‘spike’ in tyre temps in Aussie GP

An angry Alex Albon says his crash in the opening stages of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix was caused by a sudden “spike” in tyre temperatures that occurred just after the Williams driver had run over a kerb.

Albon’s form in free practice and in qualifying in Melbourne augured well for his performance on race day.

From eighth on the grid, the Anglo-Thai racer clocked in sixth at the end of the first lap, sandwiched between the two Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Alas, on lap 6, the Williams driver veered off course at Turn 6 and heavily hit the wall, showering the track with gravel which triggered the first of the event’s three red flags.

It was a dramatic early end to a promising race for Albon and Williams.

“I’m all fine, more disappointed and sorry for the team than anything else,” Albon said. “

“We had a great car, even the first few laps of the race, we were strong. I was really happy with the car, just very unfortunate.”

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Albon believes the cause of his demise was rooted in error at the previous corner where he had run wide over a kerb, a mishap that he says spiked his tyre temperatures and set him up for a lack of grip at Turn 6.

“When I lost the car I was going through there slower than the lap before,” he said. “I went a little bit wider at Turn 5, went onto the kerb.

“I didn’t think too much of it, to be honest, but looking at the data briefly it spiked the tyre temperature by a little bit.

“With these tyres, these Pirellis, we get punished if we slide. I think that’s the cause.”

Albon reckoned that given the race’s incident-filled development and the strong pace of his Williams FW45, he could have snatched at the end of the day his second top-ten finish of the season.

Instead, the 27-year-old was none too pleased with himself.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” he said. “Firstly it’s my mistake and apologies to the team.

“It’s one of those things that clearly looking at the results today and seeing where everyone is at, there was a good chance for points.

“We need to score points when we can, especially when there are opportunities to score points.

“There are a few cars out of place, out of sequence. That’s when we need to do well. Everything was looking up until my mistake. So I’m very angry with myself.”

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