Frustrating French Grand Prix for Alex and Toro Rosso
Alexander Albon endured a frustrating French Grand Prix at Le Castellet, where overtaking proved difficult in his pursuit of points after a strong Qualifying in Paul Ricard.
Alex was sadly unable to convert his strong qualifying position into points at Paul Ricard, after an opening lap incident saw him crowded out and lose vital ground that proved costly to his end result.
The Thai driver had a strong start to the weekend, on the fringes of the Top 10 across all the Free Practice Session and in Qualfiying, outpacing teammate Danil Kvyat in all sessions and taking 11th on the grid - just missing out on a space in Q3 in the closing moments of the session.
Alex made a good start as the car streamed through the opening sequence of corners, however he made a small mistake at Turn 2 and a loss of grip saw him crowded out and boxed in by his rivals, dropping him down the order and out of position.
Despite having better race pace than his rivals, due to a train of cars all being within one second of each other, all cars would have the effect of DRS - essentially causing a stalemate in proceedings and restricting Alex progress in moving up the order.
As the strategies played out, Alex and Danil had a hard battle on track - with the latter just holding onto 14th position to the end of the race, with Alex finishing just behind in 15th position at the chequered flag.
Alexander Albon (Car 23):
"I had a bit of a slow start to Qualifying as I finished Q1 in P15. I knew the car had a lot more potential and I had a much better lap in Q2, although the wind picked up a bit and I just missed out on Q3.
The car was good today – it came down to such fine details which made the difference to make it into the top 10.
Obviously, I would have liked to be in Q3, however, starting from P11 is quite good for us because we can choose which tyre we start on for the race. Looking at Friday practice, our long run pace is stronger than our short run, so we’ve got the chance to score some points tomorrow.
Unfortunately, our race was compromised from lap one as I went wide into Turn 2 and got boxed out. I didn’t realise how much grip there was on the outside and I lost a few positions.
We were quicker than the cars in front but struggled to get past them as everyone was in the DRS train, so I spent most of the race behind another car.
We lacked a bit of pace today, so we need to understand why and where we can improve.
It was good fun battling with Dany, however, fighting for positions outside of the points is not where either of us wants to be."
Alex and the team will be hoping for better fortunes at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix on the 28-30th June.
This will be the 'home race' for the parent company of the team and the perfect place to hit back after the frustrations in France.