Alex Albon’s prediction of a P4 finish at the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday did not go down well, with Nico Rosberg saying he should be aiming higher.
Albon, who has been under pressure to keep his Red Bull seat for 2021, had seemingly eased that said pressure by bagging the first Formula 1 podium of his career at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
But since getting that particular monkey off his back, Albon has reverted to the norm somewhat with a P10 finish in Russia, although he did have to overcome a five-place grid drop for a new gearbox.
However, the more alarming stats are in qualifying. There was over a second between him and Max Verstappen at Sochi and the gap at Nurburgring was still a sizeable five tenths.
With Albon lining up P5, behind Charles Leclerc who was able to split the two Red Bull cars, there was a suggestion that he is still suffering from a lack of confidence given his following comments.
“I would be happy with first,” Albon joked when asked in the Nurburgring paddock where he would happy to finish on race day.
“But yeah I would say…fourth would be nice. We’ll see.”
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) October 10, 2020
After listening to Albon’s paddock interview, Rosberg was less than impressed with what he was hearing from the Red Bull driver.
“I didn’t quite like that he was aiming just for fourth,” Rosberg said on Sky F1.
“He’s got a Red Bull and so much can happen in the race tomorrow. He should be aiming for the podium and he can do that. I didn’t like that [comment] too much.”
Rosberg was also asked for his assessment of Albon’s season so far and he added: “He has had some good results and everything but his achilles’ heel has been his qualifying.
“Last qualifying he was one second down on Max [Verstappen] and today he was fifth tenths behind. Even five tenths is way too much after so many races now.
“That’s going to make it or break it for him in terms of keeping that seat for next year.”
Ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix, Albon is P5 in the World Championship standings with 64 points to his name. Team-mate Verstappen is P3 with 128 points.