Finally on the F1 podium after his first two attempts were wrecked by Lewis Hamilton, Alexander Albon received an apology from the Mercedes driver.
Albon finished third at the Tuscan Grand Prix, a race won by Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas in second.
It was a maiden podium for the Red Bull driver who came very close at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix and again at this year’s Styrian race.
Both efforts, though, came to nought when the Thai-British racer was taken out late in the race by Hamilton.
The Brit apologised on Sunday.
'sorry about that' pic.twitter.com/JgJt0q2KK5
— michelle (@aalbons) September 13, 2020
Albon admitted Sunday’s top three showing felt like a weight was off his chest and that he could finally “breathe”.
Albon had been under immense pressure in the build up to the Mugello race with the likes of Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly all being linked to his Red Bull race seat.
Thanking Red Bull for “sticking with” him on the cool down lap, Albon said after the race: “It was good.
“Obviously, a while to get here but no, it was a tough one as well, we had to work for it. But no, I’m really happy. I’m really happy.
“I can breathe. It feels nice to be here.”
The memories of his two lost podiums, though, were at the forefront of his mind as he challenged Daniel Ricciardo for third place.
“I didn’t catch the Renault as much as I thought, so it was a last minute dive on the outside,” he said.
“Of course I was a little worried, but I left enough space.
“When you send it round the outside, you’re hopeful, and you have flashbacks to previous times when fighting for podiums, but we managed to get through unscathed.”
The podium result pushed Albon up to fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship with 63 points, two behind Lando Norris.