Alex Finishes Strong Formula One Debut at Melbourne
Alexander Albon finished 14th on his debut in Formula One at the Australian Grand Prix for Scuderia Toro Rosso, after a solid maiden race at the Albert Park Circuit.
After qualifying a strong 13th on the grid yesterday, Alex made a great start to move up to 11th position on the opening lap of the race - slotting in behind FIA Formula 2 rival Lando Norris in the opening stint of the race battling for the points-paying positions.
Alex made his first pit-stop on Lap 15, joining just behind Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen. The midfield battle was incredibly tight, however the early pit-stoppers were held up by Antonio Giovinazzi - running a longer first stint, which held up Alex during the middle part of the race.
This meant Alex lost time to the driver's around him that longer in the first stage of the race, emerging in 14th position once all the pit-stops were played out.
He was involved in some intense battles in the midfield, as a train of cars fighting for the points positions - in a DRS assisted train of cars, made for an intense battle and some wheel-to-wheel action for Alex.
The Thai driver managed his tyres well to the end of the Grand Prix, whilst keeping the pressure on his rivals ahead. Alex finished a solid 14th on his debut in Formula One - just behind Racing Point's Sergio Perez.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
"Mixed feelings today! It was my first experience of a race weekend and I didn’t really know what to expect. The race started off very well, I dropped the clutch and thought ‘great, that was okay!’
I made up two positions straight away and at that time we were in the mix, as I was already one position away from the points. That was pretty much as good as it got for me, though.
We were in a battle with Giovinazzi, I think he was struggling with his tyres and everyone on that strategy lost out. All of the guys who stayed out on the harder compound behind overcut us. That compromised our race but I’m still happy with how my weekend went.
I think we could have had points so that stings a little, but it was a good experience and I came away with a clean weekend, relatively speaking!"
Alex will next be back in action for the second round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship at Bahrain, on the 29-31 March at the Sakhir International Circuit.