Alex Albon’s dig at ‘traffic makers’ Haas after ‘big’ Brazil Grand Prix crash

Michelle Foster
Williams driver Alex Albon crashes out of the Brazilian Grand Prix after being hit by the Haas teammates.

Alex Albon made a great start in Brazil but it came to nought.

Alex Albon says he is fine after a heavy shunt on the opening lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, a racing incident triggered by the “backstop” Haas teammates.

Lining up 15th on the grid, Albon made yet another flying start and looked to challenge the Haas teammates around the outside on the run-up to Turn 1.

Momentarily three abreast, Kevin Magnussen moved to the right to get a better line into the corner and tagged Nico Hulkenberg who in turn crashed into Albon.

Alex Albon had to pass ‘traffic makers’ Haas

Hitting the rear left of the Williams, which pitched Albon to the right and he then speared into Magnussen’s VF-23 before sliding off the track at speed and into the barrier.

His FW45 was destroyed in the accident, and Albon’s race was over before it even began.

The good news is the driver says he is okay, more frustrated than anything at missing out on a potential points-scoring result.

But, he says he had to find a way past the Haas teammates for that to happen as they’ve become this year’s “traffic makers”, unable to replicate their qualifying performances in races.

“It was a big hit actually,” Albon told the media. “You never liked hitting it head-on because obviously you just get that motion [head jerking] which is never that nice.

“I’m fine. More just frustrated about about having a good start and then going for nothing.

“We get in front of them two Haas, we knew they were going to be the backstop, they were going to be the traffic makers, and if I could get past them early in the race, we would have had a really good chance to score points.

“It was only 100 metres, but in them 100 metres it was looking like it’s going the right way.”

The crash was put down to a racing incident by the stewards, although Albon feels there was nothing he could have done to avoid it.

“Sometimes it works for you like it did in Mexico and sometimes it works against you like it did here,” he added. “So frustrating.

“I don’t think I could have done anything different. I was as far right as I could.

“I think that Haas on the left was slightly blindsided, it kind of went across a little bit, squeezed the middle Haas, and that was it really. I mean, it happens.

“It’s just unfortunate because this is what we don’t want where there’s a Ferrari out, Daniel’s a lap down, Piastri’s is a lap down and now there’s a chance to score points and they’re the races that we do well at, we scrap at.

“Now it’s opened for one of our championship rivals to take.”

That championship rival was AlphaTauri with Yuki Tsunoda scoring two points to close the gap to Williams to just seven points with two races remaining.

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Haas’ take on the Lap 1 collision

The crash also put Kevin Magnussen out of the Grand Prix when initially it looked as if the Dane, arguably the one to cause the collision as he moved right and squeezed Hulkenberg, collected by Albon’s crashing Williams.

Magnussen, who had initially stated he was “hit”, later

“These things just happen. There’s no reason to complain. It is what it is. I would have liked to have driven the race, but I’m taking the positives out of this weekend with, it looked like we had made progress,” he said.

As for Hulkenberg, he had “no idea” what was happening until it was too late.

“I have no idea, it was similar to Qatar. Alex passed on the right, Kevin also came up and tackled me. Of course he can’t know that there is another car to my right.

“A classic racing accident. Ultimately he pushed up a little too much. If he had stayed down, this wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Read next: Brazil GP conclusions: Alonso’s genius, Perez’s pulse and Brundle’s gem