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Albon feels denied of race win following Hamilton clash

  • Published on 05 Jul 2020 17:41
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Alexander Albon says he's confident he could have won the Austrian Grand Prix if not for his late-race crash with Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring.

Following Max Verstappen's early retirement from the race, Red Bull's victory hopes rested solely on Albon. The Thai-British driver was running in second place, over 10 seconds down on the Mercedes duo before the second safety car allowed him to pit for fresh soft tyres.

With both Mercedes opting to stay out on their old hard tyres, Albon launched an attack on second-place Hamilton around the outside of Turn 4, but spun into the gravel after contact was made between the two.

It marks the second time in three races that the pair have crashed, as they also came together in Brazil last year while fighting for second place, with Albon also coming off second best on that occasion.

As he did in Brazil, Hamilton received a five-second time penalty for the incident in Spielberg. 

“I'm a bit fresh now so I need to be careful with what I say,” Albon told Sky F1. “It is what it is. I really felt like we could have won that race. Mercedes had the outright pace today, but the guys did a great job with strategy.

“When I did the pit stop, I was like 'Where are we?', I didn't really know what was going on. As soon as it all played out, it looked really strong for us and I knew they were on the hard tyres.

“The first five laps were when I was going to do the overtakes. I was confident and the car was feeling good at that stage of the race.”

While Albon believes the collision in Brazil last year was a 50-50 incident, the 24-year-old feels more blame should be given to Hamilton for Sunday's crash in Austria due to the space he provided for the six-time world champion.

“I feel like this one, I wouldn't say it hurts more,” he said “Brazil was a bit more 50-50 and I felt like I made the move already. I was already kind of focused on Bottas in front. It was so late, the contact.

“There's always a risk of overtaking on the outside, but I gave as much space as I really could. I was right on the edge. I thought as long as I give him the space, it's up to him if he wants to crash or not.”

Albon failed to see the chequered flag as a mechanical issue forced him to park up before the end of the race.

Replies (8)

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  • The moment Verstappen retired RB had little chance of winning I feel. But they lost out on a lot of valuable points, being >30p behind Mercedes now.

    • + 0
    • Jul 5 2020 - 18:09
    • I would largely call this a borderline racing incident. The penalty seems more down to the emotional aspect of Albon missing out on his first podium and potential win. Kudos to him, it was a pretty solid race, a lot closer to Max than last year.

      Regarding the incident, I think Lewis was clearly beaten but his steering looked locked to the right with still enough space on the outside no? While I think this is unfair, I'm kinda glad it happened in order to spice up the championship. Mercedes are clearly going to fight each other until the end, and Lewis still looks like the faster of the two on Sunday.

      • + 0
      • Jul 5 2020 - 19:52
    • Nah, it was no doubt a proper incident. Hammy coulda left more room, he didn't.

      • + 1
      • Jul 5 2020 - 22:20
    • Albon was clearly gaining on both Mercs and Hammy couldn't handle being passed, so intentionally hit him when he saw he was going to lose the position. And hit him in such a way at the point of Albon's car that it would push him off with minimum risk to Ham's car.

      • + 2
      • Jul 6 2020 - 01:41
  • Big of Hamilton to accept the blame, I saw it a bit like AJP - though Hamilton is (normally) the master at driving right to the limit, this time he went just a little too far. He had a lot of pressure on him today and I though he largely handled it well - I think race two could be a little different.

    • + 0
    • Jul 5 2020 - 20:31
    • Snooky

      Posts: 121

      I don’t think he did accept it did he? He just sort of skirted around it saying he regrets it happened but didn’t say it was his fault... was a bit on the limit but I think he could have avoided it he wanted to, was already a bit unhappy he wasn’t allowed to race Valtteri mid way through so had a chip and I suspect an element of “I’m not backing out of this so you’ll need to” when he saw Albon coming round him and got luckier on the contact. As for race 2, here’s hoping it’s as eventful!!

      • + 1
      • Jul 5 2020 - 20:41
  • Lotus4Ever

    Posts: 26

    Look at HAM´s steering wheel - he didn't turn left. Albon has to learn, how the game is played, F1 is no place for nice school boys - you don't become World Champion being a cry-boy. Sorry if it offends somebody, but that is the truth......

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2020 - 09:20
    • yup. Too soon junior, too soon... Dont push a move which is likely to take at least one car off.... especially when your tyres are much much grippier.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 22:18

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