Alexander Albon says the Williams Formula 1 team has been left surprised by its pace during Friday practice at the British Grand Prix.

Albon ended both practice sessions from Silverstone in third place, a drastic difference from its usual position at the bottom of the standings.

Williams’ strong pace was backed up by Logan Sargeant’s run to fifth in FP2.

And while the Grove-based squad’s speed looks encouraging on the track, Albon admitted that it didn’t feel great behind the wheel.

“I’d be lying to say it’s not surprising,” he said. “Obviously we’re not doing anything special. 

“It’s strange, because, without sounding pessimistic, it doesn’t feel too great out there for us, but it clearly must feel worse for the others.

“I think the wind out there today is a real pain, it really separates the balance of the car, but for us we seem to be coping with it much better than anyone else.

“We’ve also got the upgrade package, what we’ve seen has been a bit better for high speed corners than low speed, Austria was kind of a low speed track, maybe it’s partly due to that.”

Williams is celebrating 800 races in F1 this weekend and is sporting a revised livery as a nod to its heritage.

Despite its encouraging start to the event from Silverstone, Albon insists that Williams will not get carried away with its early performance.

“It’s a bit of a question mark, our long run pace was also strong on the hard tyre,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep grounded and just focus on ourselves, a bit of a strange one to finish the lap and see yourself in the top three.

“It’s hard to say [what the positives are], because truthfully if you talk about balance, every corner is different here, because the wind is hitting the car in different ways, so you get what you call a very disconnected car. 

“There’s a lot you can do, but it’s very hard, let’s say Turn 3 is oversteer, Turn 4 is understeer. You can’t really attack those corners and do set-up work because they’re the same corner speeds and you’re just getting a headwind or a tailwind. 

“It’s all about compromise at this circuit, so yeah we’re learning, bit at the same time it’s all about optimising for these kinds of conditions. 

“Again, we’ve just got to keep grounded, as it’s a bit surprising for us, we’ll take it and see what happens tomorrow.”

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