Alex Albon is hopeful that the “stars should align” for Williams at the Las Vegas Grand Prix with the combination of cooler conditions and a low-downforce track layout.

Formula 1’s inaugural event at the temporary Las Vegas Strip Circuit will see the entirety of the weekend’s action take place at evening time in potential single-digit temperatures.

The 6.201km street venue features a 1.9km straight and is expected to see teams adopt a version of their low-downforce packages to rival the top speeds evident at Monza.

Albon is optimistic that the track configuration and colder environment in Las Vegas should combine to form the ideal track conditions for Williams to thrive.

“Vegas… the stars should hopefully align,” Albon said. “But I don’t want to say that, so don’t quote me on it! It’s a track that should suit us in terms of its layout but it should also suit us in terms of its temperatures.

“Qualifying is going to be a real big interest I think for everyone to try and get the tyre to work in that temperature. That really won’t be easy, but that suits us much more.”

Williams will be bidding to cement its grasp on seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the final round, with AlphaTauri now only seven points behind.

Red Bull’s second-string outfit outscored Williams by 11 points across the recent triple-header, with the Grove side hamstrung by tyre troubles in the hotter conditions.

“It’s quite clear – and we know this – that a weakness of our car, when the track gets too hot we take a dip in performance and that’s just because we tend to put a bit more energy into the rear tyres than most teams,” he explained in Brazil. “So when the track is cool enough, we tend to do well.”

Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing FW45.
04.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sprint Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: XPB Images

But Albon is wary that a select sequence of corners in Las Vegas could prompt front-locking, something that Williams’ FW45 challenger doesn’t contend well with.

“It’s quite a simple circuit in terms of its layout, it’s quite easy to learn,” he added.

“The track is quite interesting, there’s quite a few combined corners, which are not easy for front-locking, which is not great for our car, but that’s fine.

“The one thing which will be interesting is the roughness and the bumps of the track, how well of a job have they done or not.

“And also, I think in terms of racing, there’s going to be a lot of overtakes, because at least from what I drove, there’s a lot of opportunities, a lot of places you can overtake. So let’s see, but it’s okay. I actually didn’t mind it.”

However, Albon has cautioned overtaking may be harder than anticipated, comparing it to Mexico with the abundance of slow-speed corners proceeding the straights.

“In its layout, the straights are absolutely massive,” he addressed. “For example, Mexico, there should be more overtaking than there is.

“I mean, there is a massive straight. But the way that the Sector 3 is designed is not good for racing. And so it’s so hard to stay close out of the last corner.

“There’s one example of that in Vegas, where technically there should be an overtaking spot straight, but the corners before don’t allow you to say that close.

“Everyone thinks it’s the high-speed corners that it’s harder to stay close. And it’s not, it’s really the low-speed corners that we struggle to stay close, because the front end in these cars is so difficult, especially when the cars are so heavy.

“As soon as you lose the front in the low speed, you’re gone. But in Vegas, especially coming out of the last corner into Turn 1, it’s a corner that’s not that hard to stay close. So I think you’ll get quite a lot of overtaking.

“I hope it’s not too easy.”

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