Christian Horner “apologised” to Alexander Albon for his Q2 elimanation in Hungary, accused of making the driver look like “an idiot”.
Albon qualified behind the Williams of George Russell in Saturday’s qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Thai-British driver only P13 to Russell’s 12th.
Albon voiced his frustration after qualifying, telling his time that while he was “sorry” for his early exit, “I told you don’t put me out in traffic”.
Russell was quick to defend his long-time friend.
“I’ve know Alex for the last 15 years, been in the same paddock as him, he is one of the best drivers we all raced,” he told Sky F1.
“Max [Verstappen], Charles [Leclerc] all of us were saying he always has been at the front in everything he has done and I don’t know what the hell was going on, I feel really bad for him.
“He’s been made to look like and idiot and he’s absolutely not. He’s won in everything he’s done so I don’t know what’s going on but they need to sort it out.”
Team boss Horner says he has already apologised to his driver for Red Bull’s contribution to his elimination.
“Alex has driven a great race from where he was, to come from [P13] on the grid to racing Ferrari, the passing moves that he made, all credit to him he made a great recovery,” said Horner to Sky Sports F1.
“When he gets clear air he’s doing the lap times, so I think there are a lot of positives we can take out of the race.
“He has picked up a bit of criticism which has been very harsh on him.
“Yesterday [Saturday] we made a mistake in the timing, put too much pressure on him, and we have to take responsibility for that.
“We apologised to him yesterday.”
Albon raced his way from 13th on the grid to fifth at the chequered flag, the first driver not to be lapped by Lewis Hamilton in a race in which the Mercedes driver was in a league of his own.
Albon passes Vettel, the man who Red Bull boss Dietrich Materschitz wants to replace him!
— iGP Manager (@iGPManager) July 19, 2020
Horner reckons one of the reason Verstappen is so far ahead of his team-mate at the moment is that the Dutchman has the experience to drive around any car issues.
The Brit believes Albon will get there.
“I really believe Alex has got a lot more potential that we just haven’t uncovered yet,” he added, “and I think we need to tidy up the car, it’s very difficult at the moment.
“Max’s ability to drive around those problems, his DRS wasn’t even working in qualifying, that is experience on Max’s side that Alex doesn’t have.
“And the only way to get that is to do the events and go through the motions, and he is getting stronger.”