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Williams can have no regrets amid $9m AlphaTauri F1 battle - Albon

Williams should not be left kicking itself if it loses out in its $9million battle with AlphaTauri in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship this weekend, says Alex Albon.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The Grove-based outfit is heading into the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi seven points ahead of AlphaTauri in the fight for seventh place in the constructors’ contest. 

But with AlphaTauri having made impressive gains with its car since a major upgrade arrived at the Singapore Grand Prix, the buffer offers no guarantee to Williams that it can hold on. 

The battle is a significant one because the F1 prize money teams receive each year is based on its finishing position in the points table. 

PLUS: The remaining scores to be settled in Abu Dhabi's F1 finale

While the final prize money on offer depends on the total sum of commercial rights income F1 receives, the gaps between the different positions can be estimated. 

Based on information from insiders, if the prize pot distributed among teams is $1billion, then the share between the seventh and eighth teams is around $9million. 

This is because the seventh-placed team takes 8.7% of the total prize pot, with the eighth-placed squad receiving 7.8%. 

But, while Albon says the extra income from finishing seventh, as well as a better position in the paddock, would be hugely welcome at Williams, the team should have no regrets if it loses out in the end as the result of having switched off its 2023 car development early. 

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

“We're pretty self-confident in ourselves that we've done the right thing,” he said. 

“We've talked about it enough, but we have stopped our development for a long time now and, if we lose out for what we're focusing on for next year, it's not going to be a kicking yourself moment. I do think we're going to see the rewards next year.” 

Asked by Autosport about the importance of finishing ahead of AlphaTauri, Albon said: “Money talks. 

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“We can say it doesn't really affect us, but of course we're racers, everyone's a racer in the team, and we all care about what position we finish.  

“That walk into the pitlane [down to the Williams motorhome] is a little bit too long at the minute, and one position already makes a difference. So, let's see.” 

While Williams has a committed owner in Dorilton Capital, Albon says that any boost to income would assist the squad in its ambitions to move forward. 

“It will help the team, and it will speed up the development of the team as well,” he said. “Dorilton put the cash in, and it would benefit everyone if they had to put it in a bit less.

Alex Albon, Williams Racing

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams Racing

“So, there's a big drive and a big want this weekend to finish in P7. It's clearly our number one priority coming into the weekend.”  

With the Williams car having had big performance swings this year, Albon says the achievement of the squad in finishing seventh would be impressive. 

“I'm very proud of what we've achieved at the team,” he said. “I think about the races that we've scored points in, and we haven't had really a smooth race where we've just gone: that was nice. I wish we had more of them.  

“Unfortunately, a lot of them are holding up a bunch of cars behind us, which is what we've become renowned for.  

“The car has improved a lot from last year. We're going into every weekend feeling like there's a chance to score points. But, even in that case, our race pace is not always that great. And yet we still come away with good points.  

“I think Melbourne was the only race where I felt like I missed an opportunity to score points. But every other race we've done this year, when there's been a chance, we've done it and I think that's been the main difference against our rivals.”

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