27 October 2019 22:40
Alexander Albon says his recent spate of crashes have been down to pushing too hard, but he is confident that the run of incidents has not affected his standing at Red Bull. The Thai driver has made an impressive start to life in the senior team and has outscored Max Verstappen across their five races in tandem, aided by a pair of DNFs for the Dutchman. However, Albon has crashed in practice or qualifying in three of the last five events, with a significant shunt at the start of FP2 in Mexico forcing Red Bull into a chassis rebuild. Albon went on to qualify fifth – his best grid spot in F1 – and remains enthused by his ability to bounce back from issues across a weekend. He said: "To be honest, it sounds bad, but I crashed in the Toro Rosso as well!
Albon dismissed that pressure was coming from the Red Bull hierarchy, adding: "To be honest, it's been okay. "Of course it is not ideal, and I think that experience and not knowing the car can contribute to that. Alex Albon says his relationship with Red Bull-Honda is getting "better and better". Having replaced the struggling Pierre Gasly mid-season, rookie Albon is now waiting to hear if he will be signed up for the full year in 2020. "I think he's doing a very good job," team boss Christian Horner said in Mexico.
"We're in a privileged position with ownership of two teams, so we don't have to make any firm decision about who partners Max until the end of the year. "They're all under contract to Red Bull, so we'll take our time to make sure we make all the evaluations in readiness for next year." Alex Albon believes that he has an opportunity to take a podium finish in the Mexican Grand Prix, given Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's impressive pace around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Albon's best finish in F1 is the P4 he recorded last time out in Japan, so a podium finish would be his first in F1, in his debut season. The Thai driver qualified in P5 following his FP2 crash and will line up right behind his teammate Max Verstappen following the Dutchman's three place grid penalty. He will need some of his classic daring overtakes to get himself a first top three finish, but if the Red Bull Racing car is as competitive at this track as it seems, Albon has a real chance to get some moves done. He said after qualifying: "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.