Albon: From ‘worst driver’ to driver of the day

Date published: April 14 2019 - Editor

Alexander Albon praised by F2 rival George Russell for his performances under the Red Bull programme.

Alexander Albon marked a fantastic turnaround by clinching a point at the Chinese Grand Prix after starting from P20.

Albon put himself in a tricky spot after a big crash in FP3 ensured he would take no part in qualifying. A new chassis was needed for his Toro Rosso car, meaning he would start from the pit lane at the Shanghai International Circuit.

But Albon was able to redeem himself on race day and held on valiantly from Haas’ Romain Grosjean to bag the final point on offer with a one-stop strategy.

Asked who told him he had been named driver of the day, Albon said: “My trainer. I was like, ‘OK’.

“Honestly, when you’re in the car you have no idea what is going on. I just drive around.

“They told me I was P10, ‘Grosjean is coming behind you in P11, you need to defend’.

“It didn’t feel like an amazing [drive through the field]. OK, I did start last, but it wasn’t like a crazy race.

“So, I’m happy to get driver of the day. Saturday I was maybe worst driver of the day, so it was nice to come back strong on Sunday.”

Albon confirmed that the initial plan was for a two-stop strategy to be implemented.

“It was always going to be tight, we knew that,” Albon added. “But we went for it.

“The last few laps were a bit nerve-wracking, but I am really happy with the result, especially after FP3.

“It was a bit of a disappointment, because we deserved to fight for Q3 in qualifying.

“Coming from Saturday I was a little bit down but the guys did an amazing job to get the car ready and I knew we could get the car into the points.”