Alex Impresses with Austin Recovery to P5 at COTA
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Driver Alex Albon took 5th position at the United States Prix, making a brilliant fight back through the field.
Alex once again visited a circuit that was new to him on the 2019 Formula One World Championship calendar, this time at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
The Thai driver in his Rookie season put in a valiant effort in Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, setting the third fastest time in Q2 but ultimately setting a lap time in the final part of Qualifying to put him P6 on the grid.
Alex made a great start on the Soft compound tyre, moving alongside the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc as they navigated Turn 1 - preparing himself for the launch down the hill through Turns 2-5. However, Alex was squeezed between Leclerc and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz - causing damage to Alex's car and forcing him to put for repairs at the end of the opening lap - compromising his race and strategy.
Alex emerged on the Medium compound tyre and set about his recovery through the field. He immediately was setting fastest lap pace and caught the back of the pack, quickly making moves through the order.
A rear suspension failure for Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel elevated Alex up another position, as he continued to make his way through the pack. Despite a second stop for Medium tyres, he made his way up to P8 by Lap 30. Alex dispatched the two McLaren's of Sainz and Lando Norris in a quick two-lap succession, moving himself into P6.
Alex made his third and final pitstop with 15 laps to go, moving onto the Soft tyre for the closing stages - emerging in P9. On fresh tyres, he quickly powered back through the field and up to P6 with just ten laps remaining.
His pace saw him catch the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo within just one lap, powering past the Australian just one lap later to moving into P5 - which he held to flag and capped off another brilliant comeback drive through the field.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
“I’ve enjoyed my first weekend in America and I think we did the best job we could with P5. The start was strong but I’m a bit frustrated with Turn 1. I need to watch it back but it felt like I got squeezed and obviously had nowhere to go as three into one is a bit difficult! I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, it was just racing, but I had to run over the kerb which damaged my floor and front wing.
From there we had to pit and I lost a lot of time so our race was pretty compromised, otherwise I think maybe we could have fought Leclerc for P4.
In the end it was a strange race but it was fun and I enjoyed some good overtakes to get back to the front. Considering we had no safety cars and had floor damage, I think we did well to make our way back through the field."
The next race will take place at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on the 15-17 November for the penultimate round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.