Challenging Weekend at the Red Bull Ring for Scuderia Toro Rosso
Alexander Albon and Scuderia Toro Rosso endured a challenging weekend for the brands 'home race' at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. It was just not their weekend in the Styrian mountains.
It was always going to be a challenge for Alex at the Red Bull Ring, where he was forced to start from the back of grid following the team requiring to take some new Power Unit components, exceeding his allocation forthe season and meaning he would take a grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Friday's focus was then mainly on the long-runs in preparation for the race, with some work still dedicated to one-lap pace for Qualifying. Alex was just outside the top 10 in all Free Practice sessions in the build up to Qualifying.
The Thai driver maximised his package in Qualifying, outqualifying teammate Danil Kvyat to advance into Q2 and set the 13th fastest time of the session.
Starting from the back of the grid in 20th position, Alex commited to the long game in terms of strategy and position. Sadly the hot conditions just did not seem to suit the STR14, meaning the pace was just not quite enough to gain enough ground to challenge for a points paying position.
Alex pitted on Lap 35 for his only pitstop of the race, completing his one-stop strategy on the way to 15th position at the chequered flag, with teammate Danil Kvyat just behind in 17th position.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
"I’m reasonably happy with qualifying, I think that’s the best we could have done if we consider my penalty and I think we did a good job.
Overtaking here is a bit easier than on other tracks so we will see what we can do. I feel my Qualifying is getting better in the past few races. I started off pretty strong, had a bit of a dip in the middle and I’m getting the rhythm again now.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today, it was a tough first stint where we weren’t quick enough. We weren’t too bad in the second half of the race, but we lost too much time in the first stint.
It’s a difficult one to swallow because our long runs were looking quite good on Friday, and that’s two races in a row where we’ve struggled with the balance of the car, so we need to figure out where we can improve."
Alex will head to Silverstone for the next round of the Formula One World Championship on the 12-14th June, a circuit where he has historically had a great record at - especially when considering his FIA Formula 2 Feature Race win at the circuit last season.