Albon pumps in the laps as Verstappen misses out

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Albon

Alex Albon has received a welcome vote of confidence from Dr Helmut Marko, who said the Red Bull driver “did great” in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon got some vital on-track running in as part of a Red Bull filming day at Silverstone, but Max Verstappen couldn’t attend.

The Anglo-Thai driver completed the permitted 100km of running in the RB16, making Red Bull the only one of Formula 1’s top three teams to test with their current machinery ahead of the new season.

Both Ferrari and Mercedes completed tests using their 2018 challengers.

And Albon had Silverstone to himself with Verstappen unable to attend due to the UK’s self-isolation rules for those entering the country.

Speaking afterwards, as quoted by, Albon said: “It was good to be back in the car today at Silverstone for our filming day and good to shake off the dust and get back into it.

“I haven’t been in an F1 car for three months but after five or six laps I was right back into it. All that work in the gym doesn’t really matter until you see it on track.

“It’s a small track, a busy track and it was really hot today. So it’s been a good way to see where I’m at with fitness and I’m happy with it.

“It was also great to see everyone again. I’ve been in regular contact with the guys on my side of the garage since Melbourne, so things haven’t changed too much and it was easy to get that understanding again.

“It was also good for everyone to get used to the new COVID-19 protocols and it’s been pretty seamless. Overall it was a good opportunity to get back in touch with everything and to get back into that racing mindset.”

Albon will start what he hopes to be his first full season with Red Bull this year, and team boss Christian Horner said the test was an important opportunity for his relitavely inexperienced driver to get “dialled in again”.

“As a trial run this has been great for the team to enable them to get used to these procedures, which are a little bit foreign, but which are vitally important,” he said.

“By the time we get to Austria, these procedures will be the new normal and today ensures that everybody knows what’s expected of them when we get to Austria.

“Today has been very useful for Alex too, to get himself dialled in again.

“He’s still relatively inexperienced in Formula 1 terms, so to have a day that’s pretty spread out and to do those 100 km, albeit on show car tyres, is something that he’ll be able to take into Austria and benefit from.”

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