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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

Albon: "Stars should align" for Williams in cold Las Vegas F1 race

Alex Albon believes that the "stars should hopefully align" for his Williams Formula 1 team in the cold conditions anticipated for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Albon expects that the lower temperatures and long straights should both play to the strengths of the FW45.

With qualifying commencing at midnight and the race itself starting at 10pm, ambient temperature is expected to be in the 5-10°C range.

"For Vegas, the stars should hopefully align," said Albon when asked about the race by Autosport.

"It's a track that should suit us in terms of its layout, but it should also suit us in terms of its temperature.

"So qualifying is going to be a real big interest I think for everyone to try to get the tyres to work in that temperature. That really won't be easy. But that suits us much more."

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Albon conceded that the one drawback could be that some corners could promote front-locking, which has been a weakness of the Williams package this year.

He also noted that the team simulator hasn't necessarily given a complete picture of what the actual track surface is like.

"It's quite a simple circuit in terms of its layout, it's quite easy to learn," he said.

Alex Albon, Williams Racing

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams Racing

"The track is quite interesting, there's quite a few combined corners, which are not easy for front-locking, which is not great for our car, but that's fine.

"The one thing which will be interesting is the roughness and the bumps of the track, how well of a job have they done or not.

"And also, I think in terms of racing, there's going to be a lot of overtakes, because at least from what I drove, there's a lot of opportunities, a lot of places you can overtake. So let's see, but it's okay. I actually didn't mind it."

However, Albon qualified his expectations for overtaking by indicating that the corners preceding the straights could be too slow.

"In its layout, the straights are absolutely massive," he said. "For example, Mexico, there should be more overtaking than there is.

"I mean, there is a massive straight. But the way that the Sector 3 is designed is not good for racing. And so it's so hard to stay close out of the last corner.

"There's one example of that in Vegas, where technically there should be an overtaking spot straight, but the corners before don't allow you to say that close.

"Everyone thinks it's the high-speed corners that it's harder to stay close. And it's not, it's really the low-speed corners that we struggle to stay close, because the front end in these cars is so difficult, especially when the cars are so heavy.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

"As soon as you lose the front in the low speed, you're gone. But in Vegas, especially coming out of the last corner into Turn 1, it's a corner that's not that hard to stay close. So I think you'll get quite a lot of overtaking.

"I hope it's not too easy."

Albon's team-mate Logan Sargeant, for whom Las Vegas will be a third home race, is also optimistic about prospects for the weekend.

"These high temperatures don't help us," said the American.

"I think especially for Vegas, to have low temperatures, night race, low drag, hopefully it works.

"For me, it's going to be a really cool one, obviously. I raced there so many times as a kid in karting, so to come back, it's going to be amazing.

"It always treated me well in the past, so hopefully that will continue this year."

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