Alex Secures Solid Sixth at Spa-Francorchamps
Alex Albon finished P6 at the Belgian Grand Prix, securing eight more points for him and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing at Spa-Francorchamps.
One year after making his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing debut, Alex returned to Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Thai driver enjoyed solid opening practice sessions with P6 an P4 during Friday's running. Alex carried his pace into Saturday where he qualified 5th on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Alex, starting P5, had come under pressure from Ocon on the run down the hill to Eau Rouge and on the long straight he lost the position to the Frenchman, who slipstreamed past to demote the Thai driver.
The Safety Car was deployed following a crash from Antonio Giovianzzi, which also wiped out the Williams of George Russell - slewing debris all over the track.
The bulk of the field pitted during the caution, with Alex moving to the medium compound rubber. A swift stop by the pit crew allowed Alex to jump Ocon but with Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly opting to stay out on track Alex now found himself in P7.
Following a lap 15 restart, Alex was soon on the march, however, and he quickly passed Pérez with a good move in the Bus Stop chicane and then he powered past Gasly on the Kemmel Straight to once again rise to P5.
The final third of the race was far more intense for Ale. In the last 10 laps Ocon closed in on Alex who was beginning to struggle on the mediums he had been put on in his sole stop.
In the last five laps the Thai driver was forced to fend off a series of late attacks by the Renault man. He held on until the final lap but this time on the long run to Les Combes he couldn’t defend the position and was forced to settle for P6 ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris at the chequered flag.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
"It was a frustrating race and it was pretty tricky to do anything. We knew before the race that the Renaults would be hard to overtake with their low downforce and straightline speed and that proved to be the case. I felt pretty good at the start on the soft tyre and then we managed to jump Ocon in the pits when we changed to mediums, thanks to a good stop from the boys in the garage.
I don’t think we expected as much degradation as we got on that compound and maybe they weren’t the right choice in the end but I pushed as hard as I could to try and do the overtakes and the tyres just dropped off. We’ll have a look at it to see what we can learn before our focus shifts towards Monza in a few days but it’s nice to move up to fourth in the championship which is a sign we’re making progress.”
After the first in a triple-header of races, F1 heads next to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix at the Temple of Speed on the 4-6 September.