Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, was impressed with what he saw from Alexander Albon on debut for the senior team.
Red Bull made the rather ruthless decision to swap drivers during the mid-season with Pierre Gasly being demoted back to Toro Rosso and Albon stepping up to partner Max Verstappen.
Albon had work to do after engine penalties put him all the way back to P17 on the grid at Spa, but he can through the field with an aggressive display and was rewarded with a P5 finish.
Albon had already received praise from team boss Christian Horner and he has also now impressed the man who is notoriously difficult to please.
“He was great on the soft tyres, overtaking many people in a great way,” Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
“Alexander was not able to have the pace that we should have on the straights and we tried to remedy that with the radio, but we did not fully understand each other to make the necessary changes.
“But especially at the end of the race against Ricciardo, Albon was really great. Of course he was a little lucky to be fifth, but it was still great.”
thank u, next 😉
Posted by Red Bull Racing on Tuesday, 3 September 2019
Albon himself said he had a lot of “fun” on his Red Bull debut but it was far from straightforward.
“I am quite happy, I had been struggling a little bit at the beginning of the race,” Albon summarised.
“I really struggled on that first stint actually. I felt like I struggled with the tyres.
“I felt like our pace was there but the corners where we needed to be quick to overtake, I wasn’t that quick for the corner and the big straights. It was a tough one.
“Then we boxed and went onto the softer tyres. That’s where the car felt a lot stronger. We made our moves to go through the pack. It was a fun race!”