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Albon: Melbourne F1 points would be "payback" to Sargeant

Alex Albon says scoring points in the Australian Grand Prix would be a "kind of payback" to Williams Formula 1 team-mate Logan Sargeant after he took over the American's chassis.

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Albon's own car was badly damaged in a crash in opening practice on Friday, and he didn't take part in FP2.

With no spare chassis on hand, team principal James Vowles made the call for Albon to take over the sole remaining healthy chassis for Saturday, meaning Sargeant would miss the remainder of the weekend. 

Albon was an impressive seventh in Q1 and then secured 12th in Q2, a place behind Lewis Hamilton.

"A different feeling, a weird feeling, if I'm honest," he said when asked by Autosport for his thoughts on taking his team-mate's car.

"Because it's one thing kind of making a mistake and then having pressure trying to deliver a performance in qualifying, but it's another feeling when you're obviously being given a responsibility - and I take that responsibility, it's not lost on me.

"So yeah, it was tough. At the same time, the only thing you can really do is focus on your job and put it all behind you and treat the weekend like the normal weekend.

"Obviously, a session down. But, genuinely, that's all I can really do. And I think so far, we've done a good job, just to keep it going. And the ultimate kind of payback to Logan would be some points."

Albon praised Sargeant for the way he accepted the disappointment of handing over his car and watching from the sidelines.

Australian GP

Australian GP

"We chat, we always chat," he said. "We're very open as a team. I was helping him in FP2. And then when this decision was made, he was helping me. He's been a true gentleman. He's been a true team player in this whole situation.

"And we were talking about FP2, the things that he liked and didn't like with a car, we have similar feedback. So you can kind of trust him straight away on it, and start FP3 kind of where he left off."

Asked if the car felt any different from the original, he said: "To be honest with you, they feel very similar, almost identical.

"It was more just about getting my confidence back up, and getting back into the rhythm with the circuit."

Albon felt that he couldn't have got much more out of the car in qualifying.

"Half a tenth here, maybe," he said. "I found that Q1 lap was very strong. I find that I've had this a few times at Williams where, especially when the tyres are very soft, it's very hard for me to go much quicker.

"If I go quicker through a corner, I tend to overheat the tyres. So you're kind of always going at the same speed, and it's quite tricky after a good run to improve much more on it.

"But considering everything that's happened over the last few days, it's been a good result."

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