James Vowles: The race left a bitter aftertaste

In Singapore, Alex Albon had a real chance to take points, but Sergio Perez prevented him. On the 57th lap of the race, the Mexican attacked the Williams driver and contact occurred between their cars, leaving Alex outside the top ten. Perez was fined for his actions.

Williams chief James Vowles, commenting on the weekend’s events after the race, could not hide his disappointment.

James Vowles: “The race is over and the team is now dismantling the equipment and sending it to the next stage. This happens after the finish of the Grand Prix, but now the two road races are a week apart and we have to send tons of freight to Japan in one night.

The team is packing everything from the equipment in the garage to the equipment used in the guest area. The cars have already been dismantled, all the parts have been boxed up and everything will be flown to Japan.

As for the race, the events left a bitter aftertaste. During the Grand Prix there were moments when it seemed like – thanks to the right decisions we made – we had to earn a lot of points. Furthermore, these decisions weren’t just made on Sundays; some things we decided before we started working on the Marina Bay highway.

Now let me explain what I’m talking about. We had two sets of Medium tires – these were probably the best tires for the Singapore Grand Prix. And we consciously decided to sacrifice qualifying to save these tires for the race.

In theory, two sets may not make sense, as the race distance can easily be covered with one pit stop: starting on Medium and switching to Hard tires. But in Singapore, a safety car or virtual safety car (VSC) mode is often introduced on the track, so you’ll want to have an extra set of tires to cover all possible scenarios as much as possible.

This was exactly the case on Sunday.

Not much happened in the first rounds; the cars drove one after the other in much the same order as they were on the starting field after qualifying. There was little room to change this order. Unfortunately, Logan Sargent made a braking error early in the race, prompting a safety car, and almost the entire pack pitted for hard tires.

Logan was very angry about his mistake, as he had not made any other mistakes all weekend. But that sent him flying off the road, damaging the front wing of his car and leaving the asphalt littered with debris.

The event that really affected the outcome of the race occurred on the 43rd lap, when Esteban Ocon was forced to stop on the track. That’s why VSC mode was introduced. At that point Mercedes and we had the option of using a second set of Medium tires.

Alex Albon just flew around the track on these tires! He overtook car after car, ahead of Haas and Alfa Romeo, and had already caught Liam Lawson’s AlphaTauri. We had no doubt that he could get ahead of the New Zealander, but an incident occurred where Alex and Sergio Perez became participants.

It so happened that Lawson held Alex back slightly before that turn, so Perez rushed into the attack, for which he later received a 5-second penalty, as well as penalty points. But in the end we found ourselves outside the top ten and any chances to earn at least some points were lost.

It was very disappointing for the whole team because we had put in so much effort and worked so hard all weekend. But we will keep fighting, and now we go to Suzuka.

The Japanese circuit will suit us better, because we knew in advance that the Marina Bay race would be one of the races where our weak points would appear. At the same time, it is encouraging that we were able to fight for the points even in such conditions because we did everything right. But in Suzuka we will have the opportunity to exploit the potential of our car to a greater extent.”

Source: F1 News

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