Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Albon impresses in China after pit lane start

The Toro Rosso rookie was voted the 'driver of the day' after a fine race drive to recover from a pit lane start, following his FP3 crash.

Albon impresses in China after pit lane start

Competing in only his third Grand Prix, the Anglo-Thai racer completed a comeback drive that belied his lack of experience.

His free practice three session ended with a crash in the barrier on the exit of the final corner, which ruled him out of qualifying. His rebuilt Toro Rosso had a change of survival cell, which meant he had to start the race from the pit lane.

Deploying a one-stop strategy, he finished ahead of the two Haas' of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, Racing Point's Lance Stroll, Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi (who also started from the back) and the two Williams.

Such was his strong pace in the opening stint, he emerged from his only pit stop twenty seconds away from a point-paying position. Taking advantage of his brief spell on fresher tyres, he reduced this gap and profited from the drivers making second pit stops.

Listen: Stuart Codling and Edd Straw review the Chinese Grand Prix – the 1000th race in the history of the world championship.

There was to be a fightback from Grosjean, who was catching in the final laps, but the 23-year-old held his nerve and denied the Haas driver the final point.

Albon seemed to be surprised to win the driver of the day accolade, but added - in a refreshingly honest and self-deprecating style - that he thought he had been the "worst driver of Saturday".

Whilst the lack of drivers in the Red Bull driver academy may have been a minor factor in his recall to the team, his form at the start of the season has been impressive, and he's now 2-1 up against team-mate Daniil Kvyat in both qualifying and the races.

Added to this, he's the F1 rookie with the least testing experience prior to securing a race seat.

A continuation of this form could make him a candidate at Red Bull Racing in the future, particularly if Pierre Gasly continues to struggle to match Max Verstappen.

Do you think Albon will win the battle at Toro Rosso in 2019? Do you think he could challenge for a Red Bull seat in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

shares
comments
"Worst driver of Saturday" Albon pleased by China turnaround

Previous article

"Worst driver of Saturday" Albon pleased by China turnaround

Next article

Ferrari team orders risk opening "can of worms" - Wolff

Ferrari team orders risk opening "can of worms" - Wolff
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Murphy
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021