Alexander Albon explains his fights from F1 70th Anniversary as he pushes to get his qualifying sorted while Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner continue to shower praises.
Albon had an eventful F1 70th Anniversary GP, charging from his P14 grid slot at Silverstone to an eventual P5 finish. His battles – many of which climaxed at Copse corner – garnered much attention, as was the case with his ones with both Pierre Gasly and Kimi Raikkonen, the latter of whom he drove wheel-to-wheel with for a surreal amount of time.
The Thai-Brit daringly stuck it around the outside of the Finnish driver, and ran off track for the majority of his rounding of the fast right-hander. Explaining the battle from his perspective, Albon stated that he was comfortable taking some kerb on the outside with his RB16 – a car that he says handles the serrated edges of the track better than most.
“I don’t know if Kimi saw me because the way he closed the door on me, I was a bit confused as we were so strong as a team with the car through Turn 6 and 7 and normally it is not a very easy overtaking spot,” said Albon to Sky Sports F1.
“When I came across, what I do is, I allow the driver to make the first move, where I can quickly judge if they are going to use the track or not, and we are good on kerbs. To be honest, the Racing Point are very stiff cars, we can generally use a lot more kerbs than them and most the other cars,” who also provided insight on his battles with Gasly and Lando Norris. He explained he was confident in the moves on the pair of them.
“It was quite a battle with Pierre, he was the hardest one to overtake as we were quite aggressive. You can judge if they are going to use all the track or not and I knew, as soon as he braked mid-corner, he is leaving me enough space to pass. Lando is a pretty fair racer and their car looked pretty poor at some corners.
“He would always drift wide at some places and so when I did the move, I was scared that he was going to drift off and hit me, but we were so strong at Copse, as we almost couldn’t understand why is it so because we weren’t go good in qualifying,” added Albon.
“On Esteban, it was simple as wherever he was going, I would have gone the other way and overtake him.” Albon was satisfied with his day, and – evidently – the behaviour of his car. However, he remained concerned about the qualifying capabilities of the RB16 that has thus far proved to be a handful – for the sophmore driver specifically.
“I think some of the comments made has been little bit unfair, obviously, we were fighting for wins and then we finished fourth and fifth, we had a tough Race 1 at Silverstone and for me, the Sundays have always been strong, it is just to get the Saturdays sorted,” said Albon.
“It has been tricky, because Sunday car feels better than Saturday and we have to understand why that is. In fact, in Silverstone Race 2, the car felt the best we have had all year, it is most probably us improving and we could see others were struggling. As a car, it was better to drive in Race 2 than Race 1, even with the high temperatures.
“It is one of those things where we need to understand why we are fast and try to pick out the points of the car where it is better,” said Albon. The Thai racer has been put under scanner already, especially with Max Verstappen always in the Top 5 and even winning.
Christian Horner, so far, along with Helmut Marko has been supportive of Albon, especially for his grit during F1 races. It is probably the one big factor that they are backing him as he is not afraid of taking the fight, which is what Red Bull looks for in a driver.
“Alex wasn’t happy with his Q3 performance on Saturday, he was a few tenths short of where he would have liked to have been on the soft tyre, but his performance again on Sunday was fantastic,” wrote Horner in his column.
“He really delivered everything we could have asked for in that respect and, in another couple of laps he would have been on Charles Leclerc’s tail. What really impressed me was his race craft. It was clean but firm and extremely brave with some great overtakes around the outside of Copse being the real stand-out.
“It is all about confidence and everyone has to remember that Albon has not got a lot of F1 experience compared to his teammate. People say F1 is not a finishing school, but in many ways it is as these drivers are constantly learning and evolving.
“Max would tell you the exact same thing, it takes time to perfect everything when you are competing against the best at the top of any sport. It is a steep learning curve, particularly when the car is a little moody on occasions but we are all working to get the best out of the car and both drivers.”
Here’s what Max Verstappen and Christian Horner said on the win
Here’s how F1 70th Anniversary GP was
Here’s Ross Brawn on Max Verstappen and Michael Schumacher