Alex Albon claimed Williams’ first Q3 appearance of the season after tackling ‘nightmare’ tyre warmup issues at the Melbourne Formula 1 circuit. The P8 result is Williams’ highest qualifying result since the washed-out 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, and Albon’s best Saturday result since his final race for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi 2020. “Pretty special today, I feel like we optimised everything. We had a very good car,” an enthused Albon told media, including . “It’s a proper fight now. We’ve got the pace in the car, it’s only a couple of tenths to the top 10. That was what we had in mind coming into this weekend. “Actually, we took those two tenths and added a couple of tenths on top, and that’s why we’re P8!” With every team extracting qualifying pace by completing a higher than usual number of laps in a run, Albon was pleased to have profited from tackling the “dark art” of Pirelli tyre warmup. “So this whole weekend it’s been an absolute nightmare on the first time lap. I mean it’s proper sketchy driving, feeling like you have to go out of your comfort zone to get a lap time out of it,” added Albon. “When I came into qualifying, it felt great. And then once you get that confidence, once you get that feeling of grip, you can just push the limits. “Since the very beginning of Pirelli tyres, it’s a dark art. Sometimes to drive quicker, you’ve got to drive slower, and if you push the limits too early in the lap, you pay for it at the end, so it’s not always that obvious. “The lap I did in Q3 was one of them laps where it felt like I was on the limit, but never went over it, and had good grip for sector three as well, and it just clicks.”

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