Albon says he is ‘hanging in there’ at Red Bull

Jamie Woodhouse
Imola is back on the F1 calendar

Alex Albon continues to hang on even though his Red Bull career now surely dangles by a thread after the Emilia Romagna GP.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola was given a late injection of drama when Max Verstappen crashed out due to a tyre blowout, and shortly after George Russell lost control of his Williams behind the SC and ended up in the wall.

Albon was in the hunt for that last spot on the podium behind Mercedes, that was until he spun his RB16 at the restart and dropped to the back of the pack where he finished, that being P15.

His race engineer apologised for not pitting Albon under the SC, and the Thai driver felt that was where his race came undone.

“It was one of those races where we spent the whole race behind other cars,” he told reporters.

“There wasn’t much to do there. Possibly, in hindsight, we should have stopped when the others did at the end of the race.

“Of course we were the first cold tyre car for them to come across, so it was always going to be difficult to hold them off.

“If we stopped, we could have been looking for a podium, but that’s just the way it is.”

It looked like an unforced error for Albon, though he said he’d been told that there was contact.

“I got told I did, but maybe that’s wrong. If I wasn’t hit, it was just cold tyres and lack of downforce. I thought a McLaren had showed its nose, but maybe I’m wrong.”

There was talk that Albon’s goose was already cooked at Red Bull before the Emilia Romagna GP, and a fourth dismal display in a row surely means his Red Bull career is hanging by a thread.

But Albon was in fact relatively happy with his Imola performance.

“Of course I’m hanging in there, I’m doing everything I can. It was, in retrospect, not a bad weekend for me. But we’ll focus ahead on Turkey,” he said.

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Red Bull principal Christian Horner said it was “hugely frustrating” for Albon and Red Bull to come away from Imola with zero points, a result which meant the Constructors’ Championship goes to Mercedes for a seventh year in a row.

“It’s a difficult one for Alex because he was in that race with Charles [Leclerc] and Daniel [Ricciardo] all afternoon,” he said.

“Then at the restart fighting with [Sergio] Perez who was on new tyres, he just lost it at the second chicane.

“So hugely frustrating for him to come away with zero points and for the team as well.”

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