Albon: Crashes not down to pressure to match Verstappen
Red Bull Formula 1 driver Alex Albon says his recent run of accidents is not a reflection of any pressure to perform in a front running car and match teammate Max Verstappen.
Albon has crashed in practice or qualifying in Singapore, Russia and Mexico in recent weeks. An incident in FP2 on Friday forced his team to change his chassis for Saturday, and also cost him a lot of track time.
The Thai driver insists that he’s been able to bounce back from any mistakes.
“To be honest, it sounds bad, but I crashed in the Toro Rosso as well!,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “I am pushing, maybe too much sometimes. And that’s kind of the price really.
“What is important is just how I recover, and so far that’s been OK. It is not nice and does dent my confidence going into the next day, but it seems to not affect me too much. On that side I am quite happy with the bounce back.”
Albon says he is not facing any pressure from Red Bull’s bosses.
“To be honest, it’s been okay. They’ve been very much supportive, actually. They know I’m trying, and the crashes I have had, is not been slow and crashing, it’s been pushing crashing.
"Of course it is not ideal, and I think that experience and not knowing the car can contribute to that. I think for the meantime anyway it’s been all okay.”
Albon bounced back from Friday’s incident to qualify fifth, having been only two-tenths off Verstappen in FP1 and Q1 before losing some form. He admitted that the lost track time had been expensive.
“It was reasonable, I’d say. Obviously frustrated, not frustrated, a bit disappointed. But looking at it, we missed FP2, FP3 wasn’t even a proper session, so a lot of the stuff I was driving on was from FP1.
“Of course, very limited track time at a new track wasn’t ideal, but actually coming into Q1, I actually felt pretty good and the lap in Q1 was pretty strong and then just got away with it a little bit.
“Q2 and Q3 I struggled a bit more with the car, little things, but at the front it was pretty tight.
“It’s just one of those things really. When the track starts to ramp up, when you’re pushing that little bit more, it got away from me a little bit, but that’s pretty much what a lack of track time does to you.
“Obviously, we couldn’t adjust many too things, we couldn’t go into the unknown, so that was pretty much it.”
Given that Verstappen showed that the car was capable of getting pole, Albon agreed that Mexico is his best chance yet of challenging for a podium, if things fall his way on Sunday.
“I think so," he said. "I think we’ve got the pace, but we’ve got to see if we can get through – that’s the plan. Since I joined the team, clearly this has been the best weekend with the car that I’ve had.
“I’m not putting it out there I am going for the podium tomorrow, but obviously, I think the car can do it, I am still finding my feet. I want to be in the mix, of course I want to be fighting at some point, but it is a good opportunity.”
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