Albon rates Mexico GP as his best with Red Bull, receives support from Hamilton
Red Bull Racing's Alexander Albon rated the F1 Mexico GP as his best with the team so far as rival Lewis Hamilton lauded the Thai racer's efforts.
Albon finished F1 Mexico GP in fifth after having jumped his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Hamilton to end up third on the opening lap of the race. He then slipped down due to the two-stop strategy but he matched on pace with the front-runners.
Having only had handful of races with Red Bull this year, Albon has had a mixed run so far. His complaint in recent time was not having a smooth weekend as due to one or the other issues, Albon was finishing quite far off from the front-runners.
However, the Mexico GP was the first grand prix where Albon was in the fight with the front-runners and even finished not far off behind as he rated the grand prix as his best in terms of pace since joining Red Bull midway in the 2019 F1 season.
"I don't know where it ranks but I had fun at the start, mixing it up with the top guys, and then I went for the two-stop strategy," said Albon. "To be honest, I don't know if it was that bad. We can look back at it if we could have done a one-stopper.
"But I got held up by Carlos [Sainz] coming out of the pitlane and lost six seconds. All in all, I think it was my best race in terms of pace and in general as the top guys weren't so far ahead." Albon had a brief fight against Hamilton before pitting.
The Thai was lauded by the British driver as he hoped that Red Bull extends more support towards him. "He was obviously just in front of me for a while – and then he pitted," started Hamilton. "He was driving really well, not making any, or too many mistakes.
"I think it's a real challenge to go up against a driver [Verstappen] that's been spoken so highly of by so many people and built up onto a pedestal. And to come in so young, and with all the difficulties he's had in his life as well – his life story is quite an interesting one – against all adversity. It was quite cool to just sit and view him for a second.
"He pitted very early; I'm not quite exactly sure why but they obviously then went onto the two-stop strategy, and I didn't really see him again after that. But he's got a bright future ahead of him. I hope Red Bull give him the support over the years.
"It's very, very important because they often spit drivers out pretty quick if they don't always do the job. I hope they're good to him." The praises didn't end there as Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was equally thrilled with Albon's efforts.
"He drove a decent race," he said. "I'm not sure he would have held the second place with Lewis and Leclerc behind him. He is getting closer to the pace and is generally doing a decent job. So, considering that he lost all of FP2 and his recovery has been very strong.
"He has impressed the whole team with his performance, and he is getting stronger with every week." Albon has outscored Verstappen in four out of six races he has completed with Red Bull so far and makes a strong case for himself.
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was co-written by me and Venkatesh P Koushik on FormulaRapida.net]