Alex Albon has admitted his penalty for causing the collision that ended Kevin Magnussen’s British Grand Prix was “50-50”.
The Red Bull driver went for a move up the inside at Club on the opening lap which the stewards described as “unusual and difficult to execute”, earning him a five-second penalty.
While Magnussen spun off into the gravel, Albon continued and although he was running last after stopping to serve his punishment and claim a set of fresh tyres, he fought his way back up the order to finish a creditable P8.
“The penalty was 50-50 to me,” said Albon, quoted by Crash.net. “Kevin went off the track and the way he came back on, there was space there initially.
“Then I realised ‘okay, he doesn’t see me’, the gap was closing really quickly and I tried to get away from it but at that closing speed it was just too much.
“Obviously we had damage, which was a shame, but the pace throughout the race wasn’t too bad. We were a little fortunate with the punctures to get there [in the points].
“We had to do a lot this weekend, so P8 – I mean it’s not what I want but it’s damage limitation.”
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) August 2, 2020
Albon’s team boss at Red Bull, Christian Horner, described his driver’s sanction as “probably fair” although he considered it to be the result of a “racing incident”.
Horner added: “Kevin’s made a mistake, he’s got out wide on the kerb and Alex has sort of committed and then backed out of it. The five-second time penalty was probably fair at the end of the day so that’s what we got.
“But then his recovery after that, he drove a great race to recover right from the back of the field to come back through for P8 with some great passing again. The last couple of laps were really exciting.”
In explaining their decision to penalise Albon, the stewards explained: “After reviewing video evidence, it was determined that Albon was predominantly at fault for the collision at turn 18 [Club].
“Passes at turn 18 are unusual and difficult to execute. While Albon appeared to be the faster car, the Stewards determined that he attempted the pass too late and the gap on the inside of car 20 [Magnussen] was always going to diminish.
“It appeared that he attempted to back out of the pass at the last second. The stewards took into account that Magnussen had a slower exit from Turn 17.”