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Albon F1 Australian GP crash triggered by tyre temperature spike

Alex Albon says that his race-stopping crash in Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix was triggered by a tyre temperature spike.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, climbs from his car after a crash

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, climbs from his car after a crash

Mark Horsburgh

The Williams driver was running in an impressive sixth place in Melbourne in the early stages, and looked comfortably on course for a top ten finish.

However, on lap seven, he slid wide running through Turn 6 and then crashed into the barriers at Turn 7, before spinning back on to the track.

As well as putting himself out of the grand prix, Albon’s incident brought out the first of the day’s red flags.

Reflecting on what happened, with Williams having been very strong throughout the second sector all weekend, Albon says that the indications point to the rear tyres having got too hot.

“I’ve had a look at the data and it was a bit of a strange one,” he said. “I went through the corner slower than I did on the lap before, it's just I went through the previous corner quicker.

“So I went through Turn 5 a little bit quicker and used a little bit more exit kerb. I think it spiked the tyre temps a little bit on the left-hand side.

“So then I went into Turn 6 with a hotter rear left tyre, and that was it. I mean, they're the margins we are driving with.”

The car on stage Alex Albon, Williams FW45, is removed after a crash

The car on stage Alex Albon, Williams FW45, is removed after a crash

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh / Motorsport Images

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said data showed that a small snap of oversteer through Turn 5 was enough to push the tyre temperatures up.

“It was a remarkable race but ultimately it was a missed opportunity for us,” he explained. “Alex built on his excellent qualifying display to make more positions at the start and was looking good for a comfortable top ten finish.

“Unfortunately, touching the kerb at high speed in Turn 5 led to a small snap and a spike in tyre temperature, which led him to lose the car at the next corner.”

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Albon said he did not want to use the tyre temperature explanation as an excuse, as he owned up entirely for having put the car in the wall.

“It's my fault,” he said. “I'm angry with myself. It's really disappointing. And, of course, I especially feel sorry for the team. It feels like I basically let them down.

“We had a good car and when you look at the [final] results and that there were a few DNFs out there, we could have been one of the teams scoring points.”

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