Alex Albon believes an eighth-place finish was possible for him in the Singapore Grand Prix without the late contact with Sergio Perez that demoted him down the order.

Following consecutive points finishes since the summer break, Williams was expecting a more troublesome encounter around the high-downforce Marina Bay Circuit.

Having only risen to 11th after qualifying 14th, Albon took the opportunity to stop under the Virtual Safety Car on Lap 44 for a brand-new set of Medium tyres, making swift progress into the points positions.

However, an opportunistic move from the recovering Red Bull of Perez into the tight left-hander at Turn 13 saw Albon’s Williams barged out of the way, dropping him back down to his starting position again.

While the Anglo-Thai racer was able to recover back to the fringes of the top 10, Albon is convinced Perez denied him from securing another vital points haul.

“Well, it should have been P8 today, I’m pretty sure,” he assessed. “I mean I haven’t seen everything, I haven’t seen the videos, so maybe I could have done something differently. Obviously in the car you have a view, but maybe it’s different outside.

“We were running in a good position, I had a great strategy, we did expect a Safety Car to come in around that period and we saved a Medium tyre for that situation, and it paid dividends in the race.

“It was coming to us, we had a really good race coming through the pack, and then getting up to Liam [Lawson, AlphaTauri], we needed a couple of more laps to get past him most likely, but then I had contact with Checo [Perez] and that was me kind of out the race, so a bit frustrating.

Perez was handed a five-second time penalty for his involvement in the collision after the race, but the Mexican retained eighth place.

Expanding on the clash, Albon said: “Opportunistic move, through my rearview mirrors an opportunistic move. He almost T-boned me pretty much into Turn 13 and I got stuck and I couldn’t get out. I had to reverse, face the wall and that was pretty much it really.”

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing FW45 with a broken front wing. 17.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Race Day.

Meanwhile, team-mate Logan Sargeant saw his maiden outing in Singapore unravel when he headed straight into the barrier at Turn 8 on Lap 20, damaging his front wing.

The American attributed the unforced error to attempting to push the limits more during the final laps of his opening stint.

“We were getting close to boxing, and I went to push my braking point a couple of meters too far, locked the inside front and I was committed to the corner,” he explained.

“Lucky to get away with just the front wing. So yeah, it’s a shame, you know, a small mistake really costly again but I gave it absolutely everything I had to the end to try and recover and I’m proud of those two last stints for sure.”

The dislodged wing proceeded to be dragged underneath his car and resulted in debris getting scattered around the track, prompting the intervention of the Safety Car.

Pressed on whether he was aware of the wing getting caught beneath his FW45, Sargeant replied: “I had no idea they told me towards the end of the lap that the wing was under the car. I could feel something was wrong almost like the car wanted to lift off, so I was just taking it easy.”

However, aside from the mistake midway through the race, Sargeant, who eventually reached the chequered flag in 14th place, was satisfied with his overall weekend.

“Honestly it’s been a good weekend I feel like I’ve built up nicely I got comfortable with the track,” he added.

“Hugely unfortunate with those mis-shifts in qualifying which really killed us. Good race pace today, just one small mistake again, need to cut those out.”

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