Albon frustrated by compromised race after Turn 1 squeeze

Circuit of the Americas, Texas

United States Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Alex Albon says he was left frustrated after his race in Austin was compromised by a first lap clash.

Alex Albon finished a strong P5 on his first visit to the United States and to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The Red Bull driver had to fight his way back from last position after being involved in a first lap skirmish that left him with a damaged RB15.

Having started from P6, Albon found himself alongside McLaren’s Carlos Sainz as the pair negotiated their way through the tight first corner. Making contact, Albon’s car was thrown into the air and landed heavily. This damaged his RB15, including some right rear floor damage and some aero damage on the front wing. As a result, he had to pit immediately and took on the Medium tyres. From there, he would pit a further two times running Medium/Soft for the last two stints. He showed great pace and climbed his way back to P5 after sneaking past Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages.

“I’ve enjoyed my first weekend in America and I think we did the best job we could with P5.” said Albon, who apologised for the incident over team radio at the end of the race. “The start was strong but I’m a bit frustrated with Turn 1. I need to watch it back but it felt like I got squeezed and obviously had nowhere to go as three into one is a bit difficult! I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, it was just racing, but I had to run over the kerb which damaged my floor and front wing. From there we had to pit and I lost a lot of time so our race was pretty compromised, otherwise I think maybe we could have fought Leclerc for P4.”

“In the end it was a strange race but it was fun and I enjoyed some good overtakes to get back to the front. Considering we had no safety cars and had floor damage, I think we did well to make our way back through the field.“

Team boss Christian Horner praised Albon for getting his head down and fighting back after the setback, saying: “He was unlucky at the start when he got involved in a pincer type movement up at Turn 1. This meant his front wing needed changing on the first lap and thereafter his recovery was fantastic. He did some great overtaking and showed strong pace to get back into P5 which makes him Driver of the Day and moves him up to P6 in the championship. He is showing solid progress.”

Albon’s position at either Red Bull team has not been confirmed for 2020 yet, but it is expected that he will keep his seat at Red Bull Racing in light of strong pace and ever improving form since taking over the seat from Pierre Gasly at the summer break.

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Thomas Maher

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