Stroll "fireball" distracted Albon in Bahrain start

Alex Albon says driving through a shower of sparks felt like "a fireball" at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix, in which he scored his first Formula 1 points.

Stroll "fireball" distracted Albon in Bahrain start

The Toro Rosso rookie benefitted from Renault's late double-retirement to finish ninth and bag two points on only his second F1 start.

His race had started being boxed in at the first corner, and he was following Lance Stroll out of the first sequence of turns when the Racing Point produced a huge trail of sparks after picking up damage from contact with Romain Grosjean.

"I was a bit too safe around me [at the start], there were some people braking earlier, and I kind of reacted to it and braked with them," said Albon.

"So Turn 1 I was too safe and then the exit of Turn 3 it was like a fireball coming into my face and it kind of distracted me.

"I was caught out and then he braked and I was like, 'Has he got damage, what's going on?'."

Albon said he needed to take evasive action because the sparks were not just a visual distraction.

"It was really hot," he said. "You could feel the heat.

"It did not worry me, but it was a new experience. I thought 'whoa, I need to get out of this'.

"I actually lost a position I think, because I was avoiding him, trying to avoid all the 'flames'."

Once clear of Stroll's broken Racing Point, Albon had a race in which he "felt like every stint we were fighting with someone".

He went wheel-to-wheel with the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen and passed his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, which meant he was well-placed to profit from Renault's quick-fire retirements.

"I think there was more in it," Albon reckoned. "It's a bit of shame with the start, because I think if I had a bit of clean air, we could have done a lot better.

"But I am happy with performance. First thing I need is to qualify a bit better, get into Q3, because I think we deserve or we can do that."

Albon said he enjoyed the grand prix as he had not been able to battle with other cars properly in the season opener in Australia.

He also admitted that he did not have much of an idea of what he was fighting for because the race was so hectic.

"I am surprised, you do your race, but everyone is pitting, or exiting the pits, and you don't know who you're fighting really," Albon said.

"It seems like you just finished the race [and the team tells you, 'You're P9' – 'oh…OK'."

shares
comments
Will anyone actually be happy with F1 2021?
Previous article

Will anyone actually be happy with F1 2021?

Next article

Grosjean sets early pace as rain disrupts Bahrain F1 test

Grosjean sets early pace as rain disrupts Bahrain F1 test
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021