"Worst driver of Saturday" Albon pleased by China turnaround

Alex Albon was pleased to be named Formula 1's 'driver of the day' for his Chinese Grand Prix charge from the pitlane, because he was "maybe worst driver" of Saturday.

"Worst driver of Saturday" Albon pleased by China turnaround

The F1 rookie crashed his Toro Rosso in final practice and missed qualifying because his team had to change his survival cell, consigning him to a pitlane start.

However, he pulled off a one-stop strategy to rise to 10th and bag his second point in a row, fending off the Haas of Romain Grosjean late on.

Asked who told him he had been named driver of the day, Albon said: "My trainer. I was like, 'OK'. Honestly, when you're in the car you have no idea what is going on. I just drive around.

"They told me I was P10, 'Grosjean is coming behind you in P11, you need to defend'. It didn't feel like an amazing [drive through the field]. OK, I did start last, but it wasn't like a crazy race.

"So, I'm happy to get driver of the day. Saturday I was maybe worst driver of the day, so it was nice to come back strong on Sunday."

Albon said his original plan was to stop twice, and Toro Rosso thought its rivals would try to stop once.

However, he explained that once the race start they noticed that the tyres were "degrading faster than most people thought".

"It was always going to be tight, we knew that," Albon said. "But we went for it. The last few laps were a bit nerve-wracking, but I am really happy with the result, especially after FP3.

"It was a bit of a disappointment, because we deserved to fight for Q3 in qualifying. Coming from Saturday I was a little bit down but the guys did an amazing job to get the car ready and I knew we could get the car into the points."

Albon said he thought his tyres were "gone" with 10 laps to go and claimed his bid to keep Grosjean behind was complicated by being lapped because "you spend at least three corners behind them and the tyres just fall away completely".

However, he believes that also played a role in holding onto 10th.

"I was a bit nervous at the end there," he added. "He definitely had a strong pace at the end of the race. I was surprised, because I knew he was going to catch me. The team told me he was going to be on my tail with four laps to go.

"But following [me], he really overheated his tyres. I found that out early on when I was overtaking the cars in front of me. So I knew it was going to be difficult for him, but I'm also thankful the blue flags were coming.

"Every time I heard new cars were coming, I was like OK, let them come'. I think a little bit of fortune, but we did a very good job."

shares
comments
Tost believes Kvyat penalty was "unjustified"

Previous article

Tost believes Kvyat penalty was "unjustified"

Next article

Albon impresses in China after pit lane start

Albon impresses in China after pit lane start
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021