Alexander Albon, Max Verstppen, Red Bull, 2019

Albon has out-scored Verstappen since joining Red Bull

2019 Mexican Grand Prix stats and facts

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Alexander Albon has out-scored Max Verstappen since the pair became team mates at Red Bull six races ago.

When the pair arrived in Mexico, Verstappen was already trailing his team mate by 17 points. A luckless race for Verstappen in Mexico saw Albon increase his lead, and the scoreline between the pair now stands at 58-39.

Horner acknowledged the surprising turn of events following yesterday’s race: “Alex has scored more points than Max since the summer break, which you would never have expected.”

In six races, Albon has scored just five points fewer than Pierre Gasly did in his 12 starts for Red Bull earlier in the season. However Gasly’s return to Toro Rosso continues to go well. He surprisingly moved back into sixth place in the championship by finishing ninth, but remains under threat from Albon and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Albon also finished in the points for the eighth race in a row and took his best starting position to date with fifth on the grid.

There was plenty about last weekend Verstappen will want to forget, not least the penalty which cost him pole position. This was the first time a driver lost pole position due to a penalty since Michael Schumacher in the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix. But while Verstappen was penalised after qualifying, Schumacher arrived at the weekend knowing he had a grid penalty.

That handed Charles Leclerc his seventh pole position of the year. He is now certain to at least share honours in the Pole Position Trophy standings this year, and will win it outright unless one of the Mercedes drivers takes pole position for all of the remaining races.

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But after Ferrari inherited pole position, for the third race in a row Mercedes turned the tables on their rivals and won. Ferrari failed to convert pole into victory for the third race in a row. The last team to do with was Mercedes six years ago, when they took pole in China, Bahrain and Spain but lost to Ferrari twice and Red Bull once.

The benefactor was Lewis Hamilton, who scored his 10th win of the season and moved within touching distance of his sixth world championship. This is the fifth time Hamilton has won 10 races in a year, all of which have come in the past six seasons; 2017 was the only one in which he failed to reach double-digits (he won ‘just’ nine).

That was Hamilton’s 83rd career win, leaving him eight shy of Schumacher’s all-time record, and the 100th for Mercedes. The are the fourth team in F1 history to achieve a century of wins. They join Ferrari, who scored their 100th win in the 1990 French Grand Prix (coincidentally, the race after their most recent Mexican Grand Prix victory); McLaren, who hit 100 three years later in Brazil; and Williams, who marked their centenary at the 1997 British Grand Prix.

After those three teams scored their 100th wins within seven years of each other, their current win tallies say much about how their fortunes have diverged since then. Ferrari have 238, McLaren 182 and Williams 114 – the latter likely to be overhauled by Mercedes during the 2020 F1 season.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Mexican Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “Albon has out-scored Verstappen since joining Red Bull”

  1. In 2002 they didn’t qualify with racefuel load, it was the last season with ‘normal’ qualifying before this whole notion of ‘shaking it up’ came about

    1. Good point – will tweak that. And try to resist the temptation to insert a whinge about them fiddling with the qualifying format.

      1. Well if we’re gonna start about that i still maintain that single lap qualifying actually was a nice invention. You had the occasional shake up by mistake without it being too gimmicky, you could watch every lap in full instead of having one lingering shot of everyone passing the finish line and simply seeing the result, and every driver and team got his moment in the spotlight every weekend

        1. It was a nice idea but changing weather conditions made timing unfair for some, as did rubbering in of the tarmac making it better to go out last.

          1. Weather is pretty much always “unfair”

          2. @socksolid Not if it’s the same for everyone with the same opportunities.

        2. Yeah but that was a rare occurence that was, which i think makes a difference, not steered or intentional but rather a way for ‘force majeure’ to shake things up. Which to me is still fair. unlike success ballast or having to start on worse tires just because you were quickest.

        3. The Australian Supercars use a top 10 shootout based on regular qual earlier in the day. It’s works very well and is a lot more interesting – I’d love to see it in F1.

        4. I think one lap shootout would be great but I would not want a full 20 car one lap shootout. Like @guybrushthreepwood said the australian supercars have top 10 shootout which for me sounds better. I’m not really interested in seeing full laps of the kubicas, giovanazzis but I’d love to see all the top 3 laps at least. Ideal for f1 would be top6 shootout I think but f1 would never allow it because they really want pretend there are no f1 and f1.5 teams

  2. @keithcollantine, this is not correct Ferrari didn’t get pole Max did he only got a penaulty of 3 places but his time still stand. Leclerc only started from pole but wasn’t recorded in the records.

    1. Well, Kimi’s 2005 Monza Pole also didn’t make the stats as did Michael Schumachers Monaco ’12 pole. it’s the way it is counted.

      1. Yet wins from 1997 season are counted, double standards.

        1. I think that year points were lost, but not the results or wins?! That’s why maybe

    2. To be credited with “pole position” you must start from there. While Verstappen did indeed remain top of the qualifying session classification, he cannot claim pole position. It was the same for Schumacher in 2012.

      1. Indeed. Which is why Pastor Maldonado is credited with an F1 pole position for Spain 2012.

      2. And Hamilton in 2012 at the Spanish Grand Prix– he qualified on pole, but was disqualified when the team didn’t have 1 liter of fuel in the car after qualifying. Maldonado went on to start on pole, and win the race.

    3. The pole goes to the driver who starts from pole. No matter who set the fastest time , if the driver who set it has a penalty he loses the pole.

    4. By the way, did Coulthard’s Monaco 2001 Pole count?

      1. @mrboerns, yes, Coulthard’s pole position in 2001 counts because he lined up on the dummy grid in his position and attempted to make the start before that electrical problem.

        Similarly, Schumacher is credited with pole position for the 1996 French GP, even though his engine failed on the warm up lap – again, because he lined up on the dummy grid and attempted to make the start, he is credited with pole.

    5. @macleod Thanks for that, will correct it.

  3. Williams 114 – the latter likely to be overhauled by Mercedes during the 2020 F1 season

    Possibly yes, but likely?

    1. Ambrogio Isgro
      28th October 2019, 13:30

      With more than 20gps next year plus the end of the season, Mercedes could win 15gps. Hamilton alone won 10 this year

      1. So Ferrari’s revival in the second half of this year will just vanish? They clearly have a faster car for qualifying and they’re difficult to pass in races (or defend against at others). I just don’t see how next year won’t be a two-way fight, meaning that it’s not likely Mercedes can win more than half of the races, only a possibility.

        1. Mercedes have won 13 of 18 races this season when a lot were saying Ferrari had the better car. Seems pretty likely they’ll win 15 of the next 25.

        2. Its all just talk. Everyone, including Mercedes is hyping up Ferrari since winter testing. To make themselves look better, and to put pressure on them.

          It worked amazingly to be honest. Despite dominating the season and winning with a huge margin, their narrative of being the underdogs actually caught on. To pull this off is maybe even harder than winning the championship.

          1. You’d think so but the last few years in the UK has taught me that if you repeat the same thing enough times, lots of people will blindly believe it.

        3. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
          28th October 2019, 18:44

          It very well might. They have been inconsistent the last 3 years. both the SF-70 and SF-71 were good cars, but their traits did not carry over in the SF-90, and whilst the SF-71 was perhaps on par with the W09, Ferrari has made it a habit to throw things away

          1. I don’t think they went wrong with the concept, but it took them way too long to understand how to get more out of it. Plus let’s not forget the tyre situation that many were faced with at the beginning of the year.

  4. Am I the only one, who can’t understand how “seven pole positions in a row” were counted?

    In Hungary (the 7th race from now) Max was on pole.

    1. And just to highlight, Ferrari has 9 poles this season, Mercedes – 8, RBR – 1…
      Not in “current row” Ferrari has 3 poles – Bahrain, Canada, Austria…

      So…

  5. Sorry but Verstappen doing badly doesnt mean Albon is doing great.
    his goal set by Red Bull this season is get a podium.
    This was his best chance because Red Bull had the fastest car in Mexico. but not once he challenged a Ferrari or Mercedes while he had the fastest car. And because his teammate did badly doesnt mean he did great. dr Marko certainly doesnt look at it that way. Marko will think Gasly overtook Vettel on track once and Albon never overtook anyone except Midfielders.. I know Albon is a nice guy and all but try to be a bit critical.. his Boss certainly will be..

    1. Albon might not be doing “great”, but he is doing “much better than Gasly”.
      And when certain Max can’t keep his aggression in check and ends up without points… consistency wins and earns points to Albon.

    2. His goal set by Red Bull this season is get a podium.

      Got a reputable source for that Marty? Don’t recall reading that at any time since he was promoted to Red Bull.

      1. I remember Christian Horner saying it in an interview

    3. Marko will think Gasly overtook Vettel on track once and Albon never overtook anyone except Midfielders

      If Marko is genuinely that weak minded then I am surprised that he remembers to wake up in the morning.

      You’r not Gaslys Mum or something are you?

    4. Marty, as has been pointed out though, if those are the criteria by which Albon is being judged by, then Gasly also resolutely fails too – after all, Gasly never finished on the podium for Red Bull in any of his races.

      Equally, whilst Gasly may have overtaken Vettel, there have also been races where Gasly was comprehensively outdriven by drivers in midfield teams that had a car that should be slower than his was – the French GP being a particular low, where Ricciardo’s penalty was the only thing that prevented Gasly from finishing out of the points with a healthy car.

      From the point of view of the team, even if Albon is maybe not exceptional, he is managing to do what he needs to do, which is to be a measurable improvement over Gasly.

      1. While Kvyat has already got a podium in a toro rosso))

        But yeah, he’s doing alright and on track he is visibly more aggressive than Gasly was. It does look to me like he has a better feel for the car, or maybe his driving style is suiting the car better. Gasly never looked comfortable in the RB. And it’s the guy’s first year in F1.

        But really, what happened to Verstappen since the switch? Too many errors that we haven’t seen from him in a while.

    5. Towards the end of the race I was watching Alex’s time behind Sebastian. At first it was about 9 seconds, then it was 8.9, then 8.8, then 8.7, then it went back to 9. My guess is Alex was told not to try and catch Sebastian.

      1. @drycrust I saw that too. Couple that with his first stint where he matched the Ferraris and at one point did close up on Vettel just before his pit stop suggests to me he drove pretty well.

        To me he’s shown that he’s the better option to stay in that car.

        1. Completely agree – plus his level headed nature is outscoring Verstappen. Max maybe the out right faster guy but its the guy who brings the car home safely that over a course of an entire season that usually scores the most points for the team. Tortoise and Hare parable.

    6. Marty, Also Gasly or Albon performing poorly doesn’t mean Verstappen is doing great.

    7. Marko will think Gasly overtook Vettel on track once and Albon never overtook anyone except Midfielders..

      That’s a strawman argument if I ever saw one. That’s borderline defamation on Dr. Marko to suggest he bases his driver decisions on a single exception during a season instead of the season as a whole, or halves as it were.

      Albon has been putting that car in exactly the position it should be, right behind Max, in normal races, and keeping up with him pretty well. And at Spa he had to start from the rear due to penalties.

      At Russia, he started at the back due to his own crash in qualifying – it happens – yet he still came home 5th in the race, right behind his teammate.

      At Suzuka, he exactly matched Max in qualifying – something Gasly did even get close to once in 12 races.

      During the Mexican Grand Prix he was looking at a possible podium for quite a long time, and didn’t look out of place at all among the frontrunners.

      The most important bit – he’s just been keeping his head whilst adjusting to the pressure at Red Bull. He’s been doing no less than what would’ve been expected of him.

  6. Interesting times at Red Bull.

    It seems like only Max is capable of driving the car to it’s limits.
    We all (I assume)support young driver programs but what do you do when your young drivers are too inexperienced to be able to support the main act?

    Max used to start the season crazy then calm down.
    This season he started calm but now seems to be getting fed up with being boring and is just stamping on the throttle again.

    and now we hear whispers of Honda losing interest in F1.

    Interesting times at Red Bull ….
    I would vote give Albon the seat for the start of next season.
    Definitely keep Gasly as he is a reliable and consistent driver and should improve.
    I would keep Kvyat on the payroll as a place holder but replace him with a driver like Hulk/Russel/Norris etc etc if you get the chance.

    1. In my opinion Verstappen needs some help. He is clearly not reaching his potential.

      Maybe his own F1 psychologist if he doesn’t have one.

      For sure he needs something different from Red Bull, at least different from what the public hears.

      I suspect he needs his dad to go home.

      I also think the FIA could have help by enforcing rules strictly, and not normalizing his aggressive driving.

      I hope he can realize he has a problem and fix it, because he’ll never be a WDC contender like this

      1. @slotopen

        I personally believe that Max is a classic example of “All he needs is the best car”.
        If he had Valtteri’s seat then Lewis would have more to worry about than his diet.
        If he was at Ferrari then Leclerc would look more like a support act than a rival.

        Max in my opinion is an over opinionated and often nasty guy who only cares about Max.
        He reminds me of someone else who was a remarkable racing driver in that respect.

        1. @nullapax the results so far don’t support your assertion that “If he was at Ferrari then Leclerc would look more like a support act than a rival”. The figures I’m tracking (results per GP entered) indicates that Charles is already outperforming Max.
          There are also indications that LEC is learning and adapting much faster than VER. But in the long run, we’ll see who has the better race career.

          1. @fiamd Put Max in the number one spot at Ferrari and I for one would not bet against him.

            Leclerc is potentially WDC materiel I believe.
            What concerns me is that he may deny Max that title and despite all his faults I think Max is deserving of that title.

        2. Max isnt even outscoring Albon since he joined Red Bull let alone Leclerc.

    2. Yeah, lets get rid of kvyat. He is just faster on race pace than both Gasly and Albon, nothing important.

      1. I didn’t say get rid … I said retain him. He is a decent driver but he is neither a Gasly nor an Albon in my opinion.
        He lacks a certain something.

        1. He lacks a certain something, but Gasly and Albon lack race pace. Red Bull need to rethink their young driver program, as its not really providing them with the best drivers if Kvyat with all his bad luck and slow qualies manages to be ok compared to them.

          1. three engine swaps in a row. Has this happened to anyone else outside of McLaren?

  7. In six races, Albon has scored just five points fewer than Pierre Gasly did in his 12 starts for Red Bull earlier in the season.

    That’s not so special if you compare it with:
    ‘In six races, Gasly has scored just two points fewer than Alexander Albon did in his 12 starts for Toro Rosso earlier in the season.’

    1. To me, it shows that Gasley can’t deal with the pressure (yet) of driving for a top team. Albon perhaps isn’t as quick as Gasley but he’s much more mature and can perform in any situation.

      1. @petebaldwin I didn’t read it as Gasly not being able to handle the pressure of driving for Redbull. If he had the ability but was crumbling under pressure we should have seen glimpses of pace, but errors under pressure. For example, being fast all weekend but screwing up in Q3, bad race starts, mistakes and crashes when racing against other cars.

        But for the most part we didn’t see those types of mistakes, his issue was he was just slow, in both qualy and the races. To me that seems more like he just couldn’t adapt his driving style to get the most out of the Redbull, and was therefore nowhere near the potential of the car. He seems to get closer to the potential of the Torro Rosso, albeit his current teammate is a much weaker benchmark.

  8. I guess by “benefactor”, you actually meant “beneficiary”.
    Albon appears to be the perfect teammate for Max – where Max is a hothead, Alex is calm and collected. It means RBR will win points even when Max goes all kamikaze and cars the team valuable points – as he does with frustrating regularity.
    For me, though, it also points to a coming antagonism between the pair, which will be the result of Alex outscoring Max in the first half of next season. Used to being the Golden Boy of the team, Max will struggle with being put firmly in his place by Alex. That’s when the fireworks will explode into full view.

  9. For me the only thing interesting about F1 is Max & Ricciardo. Max for his agressive stupidity and Ricciardo for his masterful driving. Lewis is the best in the best car and therefore no surprises.

    1. Third best car in Mexico though.

      1. Fastest in race trim though.

        1. not in Mexico though.

  10. At this track Verstappen was in the best car, or perhaps Vettel and Leclerc, and yet Hamilton won @dutchtreat – so I think that viewpoint (though danny is great, very often, I agree, and Max is great when he’s not too impatient or brash for his own good) isn’t quite as supported by facts as you seem to think it is.

    This article also shows, as did this weekend, that on his own Verstappen is a great, exciting, driver, but not always the one to count on to get the best out of the full weekend, despite being the most able to get the fastest time out of it.

    1. The only lasting measure of success is points scored, by that measure Albon has out driven Max since they have been team mates.
      Max needs to up his game if he’s going to out score his team mate.

  11. Lot of bad comments about Albon. Guy got moved into a top 6 car in the middle of the season. Huge change. No preparation. He has been improving every week which is what I think the team is looking at.

    1. Spot on.
      Plus in Suzuka he matched Max’s qualifying time so he’s definitely not slow. I’m hoping RBR don’t suddenly go looking outside their 3 drivers to partner Max for 2020 – Albon seems to have the right temperament and skills to be the front runner at the moment.

  12. “Alex has scored more points than Max since the summer break, which you would never have expected.”

    Sums up Max’s below par second half of the season. After his performances in the first half of the season he looked the favorite for the 2nd place in the WDC even giving Lewis a tough fight.

  13. Verstappen has been hit four(!) times in the opening stages in the last couple of races and always seems to get of worse.
    In Spa he had his accident with Kimi (don’t mention the four drivers behind Verstappen following his exact same line through La Source, so that move was on).
    In Monza he made a mistake, nudging Perez. It was a similar nudge that Vettel gave Leclerc last weekend though, yet at Verstappen’s car, the front wing broke. RB changed it directly instead of shedding parts all over the track.
    In Singapore the team had the wrong suspension setup and didn’t have the parts there to correct it. Only a narrow 3rd instead of potential victory.
    In Russia he had an engine penalty. The race wasn’t RB territory.
    In Japan he got crashed out by Leclerc.
    In Mexico he missed the yellow flag. In the race, Bottas steered into him after giving room initially. Again a small nudge enough for a flat tire just after the lap started.

    Most of those were not that big incidents, but cost him dearly.

    1. I don’t agree about Spa and don’t fully agree about Mexico. Spa was clearly his fault. maybe the four drivers behind VER were following the exact same line, but none had another driver in front of them at such a close distance, naturally steering into them. also, two wrongs don’t make a right..

      in Mexico, he could have been more patient and not attack Bottas at the turn he did. even when watching the race live you can clearly see that Bottas never anticipated the move…

  14. Albon has out-scored Verstappen since joining Red Bull

    This is exactly why Ricciardo, despite not having Max’s ultimate pace, beat Verstappen 2-1 during their time as team mates.

    I doubt any reasonable person would claim Albon is better than Ricciardo yet here we are- Albon doing a good Ricciardo impersonation.

    It is for this reason that Max Verstappen is still far from the finished article- his orange army have been quick to label him the best on the grid even placing him ahead of proven champions yet here we are- Albon who is nowhere near his full potential- showing there are many ways to get the job done. Enough said.

  15. It’s like comparing apple’s with banana’s but in the end the points count.

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