Fresh from his first Formula 1 podium at Mugello a couple of weeks ago, Alex Albon was brought down to earth with a thud during qualifying for the 2020 Russian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Once again Albon could not live with his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen who will line-up second on the grid, the Thai driver will line-up in tenth. The gap between the pair 1.2 seconds in Q3, a fact that has Alex’s side of the garage stumped, driver included.
“I’m not too sure what happened with Q3,” admitted Alex in the team report. “We need tonight to sit down and look at it with the engineers. Q1 and Q2 felt ok and then everyone just seemed to make a jump in Q3 whereas we didn’t.
“It didn’t feel like we had much left in the car and my laps didn’t feel bad so there’s a bit of head-scratching going on. You can tidy up some things here and there to find a couple of tenths maybe but obviously the gap is quite big today so it’s confusing and we have work to do.
“There was a bit of spinning and track limits going on which I think was because the wind changed quite a lot from FP3 to qualifying so some people were getting caught out. We’ll do our homework tonight so we have a better day tomorrow. It’s a long run to Turn 1 and anything can happen so let’s see what we can do,” added Alex.
Team boss Christian Horner explained, “Alex did a good job to get himself comfortably into Q3 and then, unfortunately, he was just at the wrong end of the group at the end of the session. It was so tight out there that a couple of tenths would have made things look very different for him.”