Algarve Anquish for Alex in Difficult Portuguese Grand Prix
Alex Albon endured a difficult Portuguese Grand Prix that saw him cross the line in P12 at Portimão.
The Portuguese Grand Prix made it's return to the Formula One calendar for the first time in 24 years at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão.
The undulations at the circuit make it a real driver's favourite, where Alex was one of few on the current grid who have experience at the circuit - in which he finished on the podium in the 2015 FIA European F3 Championship.
New tarmac at the circuit presented a tricky challenge for the drivers, with Alex struggling to dial the car in during Friday's running.
The Thai driver hit back strongly in FP3 to set the 5th fastest time, before qualifying in P6 for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.
Sunday's race start saw incredibly low grip track conditions with drivers struggling - with Alex being a victim of tyre warm-up, dropping him outside of the top ten.
Once he managed to get enough heat into his tyres, Alex was able to recover some ground and challenge again for the points paying positions.
The soft compound tyres however grained up, so Alex pitted early to convert onto a two-stop strategy - equipping the mediums for his middle stint and then the soft compound for his final stint.
Sadly the strategy didn't pay off for Alex, as he crossed the line in 12th position and missed out on points in a frustrating race.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
“It was a tough race and we struggled for grip right from the beginning. I think the car was fast but we couldn’t show our true pace whilst we were stuck in traffic. I didn’t get off the line very well and for the first three laps we struggled with tyre temperatures, so we kept locking up the fronts. Once the tyres were hot, the car was good but recently we’ve been struggling to switch the tyres on and that just sent us backwards into traffic.
Once you get caught in a DRS train it makes it very hard to overtake. We tried to react by doing something different with a two stop strategy but looking back maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do.
Now we will look at what we can learn from today’s race and this weekend as a whole and make sure we put in a good performance in Imola.”
Formula One heads to Imola next weekend for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on the 31 October - 1 November, where Alex will be aiming to bounce back.