Damaged Radiator Takes Alex Out Of Eifel Grand Prix
Alex Albon was forced to retire from the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring after radiator damage took him out of the points paying positions.
Formula One returns to the Nürburgring for the first time in 7 years, with Alex making his first appearance at the track since his FIA European Formula 3 Championship campaign in 2015.
Weather conditions meant that Friday Practice was officially cancelled, limiting all the drivers to just a single Free Practice session ahead of Qualifying and the race for the Eifel Grand Prix.
Alex settled into the weekend with P9 in FP3, before a solid qualifying saw him reach Q3 and set the 5th fastest time, just 0.012s behind 4th placed Charles Leclerc.
The cold conditions at the start of the race led to a tricky start for a Alex, surviving a huge lock-up on the opening lap but held onto P6 in the opening stint.
However, the resulting vibrations from the lock-up meant a change of strategy was required for Alex - as he pitted early to move onto fresh tyres.
Alex managed to move through the field, surviving a brush with former teammate Danil Kvyat at the chicane.
As Alex continued to progress, it became clear that rising temperatures meant that there was an issue with the car - which emerged to be caused by a pierced radiator.
The problem worsened and Alex was forced to retire from the race early, despite being in the running for strong points.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
“The pace in the car was good today so it’s a shame to have a result like this and not see where we could have finished the race. I had a lock-up avoiding contact on the first lap which meant I had to pit really early because I had severe vibrations from a flat spot on the tyre.
I don’t really know what happened with Daniil and I need to watch it back. I think he may have run a little wide into the chicane when we did the re-start and I guess it was a bit of misjudgement from my side.
After that, the Team saw the temperatures rising and I was asked to box and then retire the car. It initially looked like a power unit issue from the data but the Team investigated and found that some debris had pierced the radiator system which led to the rising temperatures.
It is definitely not the way I wanted to end the weekend as the car felt good, but onwards and upwards and I’m looking forward to Portimao in a few weeks’ time.”
After the disappointing end to the Eifel Grand Prix, Alex will be able to fight back in two-weeks time at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao on the 24-26 October.