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Albon feeling more comfortable with every F1 outing

  • Published on 22 Apr 2019 11:02
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Alexander Albon is confident that he is getting more comfortable inside a Formula 1 car every time he steps into it. 

The Thai-British driver missed out on qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix, after he sustained heavy damage to his STR14 in a hefty collision on the start-finish straight.

However, Albon impressed by cutting through the field in the race to cross the line in tenth place, picking up his second consecutive top ten finish.

"I was a bit frustrated in China because of the crash as I felt it was an opportunity missed, mainly because of the good pace we had just before it," he said.

"I’ll be more careful on artificial grass in future! I was a bit annoyed with myself but still positive going into the race as I knew we had the potential to get points, even from the pit lane. I’m happy we could make it in the end.

"Each time I get in the car, I’m feeling more comfortable with it, my understanding of tyre management always gets better and our pace is improving steadily too."

Next up on the F1 schedule is Baku, with Albon bringing some good memories with him to the event.

Last year, he picked up his first win of the FIA Formula 2 championship during the feature race after starting from pole position. 

"The track is very unusual and with the very long main straight down to Turn 1, your tyres can be cold, it can be an absolute mess there – we’ve seen when there have been restarts [in junior series]," he said. "You get a multiple slipstream effect on cold tyres, with cold brakes, everyone going into that first turn.

"Therefore, you have to keep your nose clean and be very precise. It’s also got that very narrow section through the old town, which is really cool, and it’s there where you can make a difference on a qualifying lap.

Albon compared the circuit to Monaco, saying that the close walls mean high risks. The 23-year-old added that he will be cautious as it's his first time on a street circuit in an F1 car.

"The track is a bit like Monaco in the sense that you can put it on the line a little bit more, especially in qualifying when you really push it over the kerbs and brush the walls of the castle. I enjoy it.

"I have to consider this will be my first time on a street circuit in a Formula 1 car. I enjoy street tracks, especially driving a car with low downforce between the walls – after China, maybe Franz won’t enjoy watching me so much!

"Baku is a proper circuit, in the sense that, if you have the speed you can pass other cars. Our car has been quick enough at all three races for both of us to be in Q3 and we haven’t managed that yet. That should be our goal for qualifying.”

Replies (2)

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  • Good for him. I wrote him off before the season started. He wasn't all that impressive in F2. But he's easily the second best rookie so far this year. Looking forward to more from him. Also, what does this say about Danii Kvyat?

    • + 0
    • Apr 22 2019 - 17:52
    • I honestly think the current stint says more about Albon that it does Kvyat. We already know his capabilities. Remember, while he was weaker than Ric, he could race pretty evenly with him every now and then. If Albon already match that, I wonder where he is headed.

      • + 0
      • Apr 22 2019 - 19:58

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