Albon hoping for smoother weekend in Japan

Suzuka, Japan

Japanese Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon is hoping for a smooth weekend in Japan, having had another engine penalty in Russia.

Alex Albon heads into his fifth weekend with the Red Bull team hopeful of a smooth weekend. Having taken an engine penalty for his first race with the team at Spa-Francorchamps, he missed out on his Q3 run in Monza due to the last-minute chaos of that session. Singapore saw him have a minor crash in practice as he adjusted to the track, before spending the race cooped up behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

In Russia, a crash in Q1 meant he started from the pitlane – having already had a grid penalty coming into the weekend. As a result of largely disrupted weekends with Red Bull, the young British-Thai racer says he’s hopeful of a smoother weekend as the season winds down and he stakes his claim to hold onto the race seat for 2020.

“I’m really excited for Suzuka as it’s going to be my first Japanese Grand Prix.” he said. “I have raced at the track once before but only in karts, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like in an F1 car. The main circuit looks really fun and it’s the track I’ve been looking forward to most this year.”

“Last time out in Russia, it was a good comeback from the pit lane to finish P5, but hopefully I can have a smoother weekend and a better starting position so I can fight towards the front.”

Albon says he’s already gotten a heads up about how passionate the Japanese fans are, having been warned by teammate Max Verstappen, but neither driver has experienced racing at Suzuka as local heroes. With Red Bull powered by Honda, the ‘home’ race for the team means it’s going to be a busy one for Albon: “This is obviously a big weekend for us as it’s Honda’s home race so we’re hoping for a good result for the fans. We were in Tokyo at the beginning of the year and already I could feel a lot of support from the locals.”

“I remember hearing about how passionate the fans are but I still couldn’t believe the amount of people that we met and the gifts we received. Max said to me it was nothing compared to what we see and experience at the Grand Prix, so I’m getting my signing pens at the ready!”

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Thomas Maher

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