Williams' woes continue as Albon crashes out in Japan

rugby07 April 2024 10:02| © Reuters
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Alex Albon © Gallo Images

Williams driver Alex Albon and RB's Daniel Ricciardo crashed out of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix early on Sunday after a coming together on the first lap.

Albon clipped Ricciardo's rear wheel at turn two of the Suzuka circuit in what appeared to be a racing incident, with the cars ploughing into the tyre wall, leading to a red flag.

Both drivers walked away from the crash.

Stewards said the crash was a "first lap incident" and decided not to take further action.

"He just squeezed me, there was nowhere to go," Albon said on the team radio before pulling himself out from underneath the tyres and signage that collapsed over the front of the car.

The wreck is another headache for Williams, who remain without a spare chassis for the next race in China.

Ricciardo, who is under pressure having underperformed his less experienced teammate Yuki Tsunoda this season, said he was put in a difficult position for the opening lap because of the medium tyres on his car.

Tsunoda finished 10th, securing points in his home grand prix for the first time.

"We, Yuki and myself, struggled a lot in the medium at the start," told Sky Sports. "All the cars on softs around us just ate us up. I struggled a lot, I could see an Aston Martin, I guess it was (Lance) Stroll outside.

"I was trying to kind of hold him off. And then I saw Alex is on board. He just got so much better drive out of turn two and then got onto my right side.

"To be honest, at that point, I didn't see Alex and just everyone kind of got bottled up. Not the way, obviously, you want Sunday to go."