Alex Scores First Formula One Podium at Mugello
Alex Albon scored his maiden podium in Formula 1 with a battling drive to 3rd position at Mugello for the Tuscan Grand Prix with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Formula 1 teams headed to Mugello for the first time in it's 70 year history for the Tuscan Grand Prix and the 1000th Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari.
Alex settled into the new circuit well taking P9 and P4 in the opening practice sessions on Friday, which he followed through into Qualifying - as he set the 4th fastest time to line-up on the second row of the grid alongside teammate Max Verstappen.
Alex got a great start, passing Max and slotting into P4 around Turn 1. The race was soon under Safety Car conditions following a multi-car incident, at Turn 2.
The restart caused even more chaos, as a further multiple car crash on the main straight saw five drivers retire from the race, with the red flag deployed.
After an almost half-hour stoppage the cars reformed on the grid for a standing start, with Bottas ahead of Hamilton, Leclerc and Alex.
Alex, though, got a poor getaway and he fell to P7 as Leclerc held P3 ahead of Stroll, Pérez and Ricciardo. He was soon however back on the attack - moving up to P5 just before his pitstop for medium tyres on lap 32 and he was soon outpacing Stroll by over a second a lap.
He cut the gap to just 1.1s but on lap 42 the took another dramatic twist when Stroll crashed out at Arrabbiata 2 - bringing out another red flag stoppage.
Alex again had a tricky getaway at the restart as he was passed by Pérez into turn one. The Thai however driver was in no mood to give up P4, powering backpast the Mexican around the outside of turn three to retake P4.
He quickly set off after Ricciardo and on lap 50 he got close enough to make DRS work and he powered around the outside to turn one to complete the move on the Australian.
With P3 sealed, the remaining laps were about safely bringing the car home and just three seconds after Lewis Hamilton had crossed the line to take his 90th Grand Prix win ahead of Bottas, Alex took the chequered flag to seal his first F1 podium finish and the Team’s 177th.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
"“I’m really happy and it took a while to get here! It’s something I’ve always wanted and one way or another we haven’t been able to get it so to be there today is pretty special.
It’s really nice to give the Team something back after they’ve supported me since day one and show them what I can do. It was a tough race and definitely not one of the easy ones.
This track is brutal, especially the high speed corners in sector two, and with so many re-starts to manage we had our work cut out.
We struggled to get off the line so I knew I had to be aggressive to get all the overtakes done but we had a really good car and we know it’s good on the brakes so we used that to our advantage.
When we lost two positions on the final re-start, I was fired up as I wasn’t going to let the opportunity of a podium go by so I pushed hard to get third and I’m over the moon with today’s result.”
Following his first podium finish in F1, Alex will be aiming to carry this momentum forward into the next Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom in Russia, on the 25-27 September.