Albon, fresh from his first ever Formula 1 podium at Mugello, now has a big recovery drive on his hands as he falls from P10 to P15 on the starting grid.
The damage is not as severe for Nicholas Latifi, however, as his five-place grid drop actually only means dropping from P19 to P20, swapping places with Kimi Raikkonen who is due to make a record-equalling 322nd start in Formula 1.
The starting grid is as follows:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault
6 Carlos Sainz McLaren
7 Esteban Ocon Renault
8 Lando Norris McLaren
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
11 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point
13 George Russell Williams
14 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
15 Alex Albon Red Bull*
16 Romain Grosjean Haas
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas
19 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams*
* Five place grid penalties for new gearboxes
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 26, 2020
Albon has had a difficult weekend in Sochi so far and the five-place grid drop will only add to the misery. There was a 1.1s gap between him and Max Verstappen, starting in P2, in Q3 and it has left the British-Thai driver a little confused.
“I’m not too sure what happened to be honest,” he said. “I’m just trying to look at it right now.
“It didn’t feel terrible in Q1 and Q2, it just seemed like people around made a jump and I didn’t really have it. It didn’t feel like I had much left to be honest.
“So, a little bit of head-scratching going on because the laps I did didn’t feel terrible.
“Of course, there are still places, a couple of tenths to find here and there. But obviously the gap is quite big so it’s a bit confusing and some work to do.”
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