‘STR reassuring me and giving me confidence’

Date published: May 22 2019

Alexander-Albon

His first official outing in a F1 car began with a spin, however, since then Alexander Albon has been one of the revelations of this season – and he thanks Toro Rosso for that.

Albon entered Formula 1 this season with Toro Rosso, a late call up with Red Bull bringing him back into the fold.

It wasn’t until the shakedown of the STR14, a week before pre-season testing began, that he did his first ever laps in a Formula 1 car.

A week later he was testing, and spinning, raising questions about whether Toro Rosso and Red Bull had made the right call.

Five races into the Formula 1 season, it is clear they have.

Albon has bagged two top ten results, his best showing a P9 in Bahrain, while he was just outside the points in 11th in Baku and Spain.

“I think it’s been going well – still trying to improve and there’s still a lot of room there,” he told Crash.net.

“But I’ve had a really good feeling with the team from the beginning, and Franz [Tost], and really everyone in the team, especially my engineer – I feel we have a very good relationship.

“They’ve been really supportive about everything, and of course in F1 you have a lot of tough days but they are always reassuring me and giving me confidence, so I’m happy.

“I feel comfortable really. I feel more comfortable with the car, mainly driving-wise, in the high-speed stuff. In the low-speed it’s all very similar to me.

“Now I know what I want in the car, really, in winter testing it was more about the guys doing a change and me saying ‘that was good’ or ‘that wasn’t good’.

“Now it’s more like, I know what I want, and that’s it. What we’ve been doing in FP1 and FP2s, we know how we want the car to operate, just trying to get it there, took a bit of time.”

With his two near misses, Albon reckons he needs to improve his qualifying performances in order to become a regular points-scorer.

“We’ve been very consistent,” he added. “The results haven’t really shown anything, but we’ve been P14, P9, P10, P11 – something like this.

“It’s been a very consistent few races. Not ideally what we want but I’m getting into the swing of it, I just need to work a little bit on myself in qualifying.

“Race pace seems pretty strong always. I think our car is good on race pace, so that’s definitely a strong side for us. We haven’t been using that to our advantage.

“In my eyes I’ve got the pace, at least in short runs, but I just need to hook it up a bit better in qualifying.”

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