Albon, Magnussen recount opening lap crash
By Mat Coch
Monday 6th November, 2023 - 4:58pm
Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen have offered their insight into their race-ending crash on the opening lap of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Albon was turned into the side of Magnussen as the field raced towards the opening corner after making contact with Nico Hulkenberg in the other Haas.
The Williams had started well and drew alongside Hulkenberg on the outside, the German squeezed for space.
Contact resulted, leaving Albon to turn left and crash into Magnussen, the pair victims of what was a racing incident.
“Got a good start,” Magnussen began.
“Had a good feeling with the cars on the soft tyre on the laps of the grid, I was telling my engineer this might be a bit good because I had a really positive feeling in the car.
“It’s difficult,” added the frustrated Dane. “Unlucky.
“Hit the wall twice now through no fault of my own. It’s a little bit frustrating.”
The clash happened after Albon made a blistering getaway from 13th to draw alongside the Haas, who’d started a row ahead.
Pressed against the edge of the track, the Williams driver had nowhere to go as the Hulkenberg found himself squeezed for space to his left.
“I don’t think I could have done anything different,” Albon explained.
“I was as far right as I could. I think that that Haas on the left was lightly blindsided, it kind of went across a little bit, squeezed in the middle Haas, and that was it really.”
With Charles Leclerc crashing out on the warmup lap and George Russell forced into retirement with an overheating Mercedes, points were a possibility for both Haas and Williams in Brazil.
They’re desperately needed as Scuderia AlphaTauri has amassed solid points in Mexico and the Sao Paulo Sprint.
That pushed Haas to the foot of the constructors’ championship and ramped up the pressure on Williams heading into the Interlagos race.
As the race panned out, Tsunoda scored two points for Scuderia AlphaTauri to leave its deficit to Williams just seven points with two races remaining.
Scuderia AlphaTauri has scored 16 points in the last three races, while Williams has managed just five.
It also moved the Italian operation further clear of Alfa Romeo Sauber and Haas, the former enduring a double-DNF in Brazil and the latter having Hulkenberg reach the flag outside the points in 12th.