Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Monza, 2020

Ninth on grid doesn’t reflect “smoother” weekend – Albon

2020 Italian Grand Prix qualifying

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Alexander Albon says he is satisfied with securing ninth on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix, admitting his Red Bull isn’t suited to the Monza circuit.

He will start further back than he did at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, but qualified within three-tenths of a second of team mate Max Verstappen.

“We were just struggling with getting some areas of the track hooked up like some of the other guys,” says Albon.

“In the end, personally speaking, I’m quite happy with it. It was a bit of a smoother weekend for me. But, of course, ninth doesn’t really show that.”

Albon says the low downforce characteristics of the Monza circuit suits their rivals better than it does his Red Bull.

“Chasing the low downforce, I think we’re a little bit more affected than the others,” he said.

“The Racing Points, the McLarens and the Renaults – they seem to be good on that low downforce kind of set-up. They were like that in Spa. They’ve been like that generally throughout the year compared to us. So it does suit them a little bit.

“I just feel like this track doesn’t really suit us more than anything in the corners. We’re not too bad, but there are a few corners where we lose a chunk compared to cars around us. And then we gain a little bit around the rest of the lap.”

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27 comments on “Ninth on grid doesn’t reflect “smoother” weekend – Albon”

  1. It would have been smoother if fella could keep it between the white lines. RBR have been more than patient, time to give someone else a go.

    1. i love Alex myself but i do agree here, imo they ought to go for an older a lil more experienced driver in the second seat as they did in the past sure he’ll be a beta cuck to max but they need someone able to keep the car a couple tenths behind max.

      though gasly has been putting his foot down in the AT latly might be worth giving him another shot..

    2. @f1bobby Not ‘during’ this season. For next season if ever, but not earlier than that.

    3. Oh please, this mid season driver swap is utterly pathetic and does RB and it’s-obviously-not-as-good-as-Max 2nd driver no favours.

      1. I guess they can continue being a one car outfit then to spare Albon’s feelings.

    4. Helmut Marko has a reputation. We’ve all heard it. And yet, he’s defending Albon.

      Seems like they, a) learned from their experience with Pierre, and b) learned that their car is funky.

      1. Dan, there’s also a chunk of c) they don’t have a driver in their junior academy to replace Albon with.

        Right now, they only have one driver who could get a superlicence, which is Vips – and that’s only if he gets it within the next three months. Otherwise, their only hope for 2021 might be Tsunoda, but that looks like it’s conditional on a top 4 finish in Formula 2, which isn’t necessarily guaranteed given Lundgaard is only 9 points behind him.

  2. well, he was not alone with that, was he? But then, he didn’t do any spinning pirouettes like his teammate, did he? As I recall, Max didn’t stay between the white lines while he was doing his whirling dervish dance.
    So, exactly who should RBR give a chance to…and would they also not give the same car to that new second driver, as RB have announced this week they have not done with Albon?
    Notwithstanding, Albon improved to be only 3/10 behind Max. But, hey, don’t give any credit where it’s due, huh?

    1. @geoffgroom44

      It’s 8-0. Not good enough, period.

        1. Verstappen out qualifying Albon so far in season.

          1. Meh. Fake drama. Lets remember this is only his 2nd year and he is still learning and growing and seems to be handling the pressure of being on Red Bull team unlike his predecessor. He is in 4th right now in the standings. Albon will be fine. Red Bull needs to get a car that can compete for #1.

          2. yes, of course, silly me.Stupid of me not to expect that Alex, first full year and not even in the same standard car (according to RB) has not already qualified higher than a guy with 5 year’s experience and whose first full year didn’t manage to get as many WDC point (well 1 more as of today) than this rookie.

    2. @geoffgroom44 Better to let him be in the team until at least the end of this season, and consider again for next season at the earliest.

  3. Honestly I don’t get the amount of crying to replace Albon. It’s like nobody remembers how demotion broke Kvyat, or how people felt replacing Gasly was too fast – or how Gasly’s performances immediately became good when he was in a lower pressure environment. Albon’s level of experience is comparable to Norris and Russell who both had longer association with F1 than he did and have had greater experience with F1 machinery, yet when they don’t have a good race nobody bats an eye but everyone gets the knives out for Albon when he’s not immediately on the pace of Verstappen, widely considered one of the current best on the grid? That’s without noting he still hasn’t completed a single season in F1 with one team, and his team have openly admitted he’s not driving an equal car as his team-mate. Given what he’s got he’s doing alright – especially when by rights he should have had a podium and a win under his belt by now.

    1. I absolutely agree with you,Adam.
      I notice how folks like to compare the current Max with Alex, whereas statistical honesty really demands they compare Max’s first year in F1 with Alex.
      Bobby,above, seems to think it more of a crime to cross the white lines than to go spinning. I mean, there is no rational to this ‘Alex media shark frenzy’ that a lot of people have imbibed.
      Albon, currently 4th in the driver standings, is supposed to be as competitive as those 3 above him….which is a pretty absurd expectation since not every rookie is a Lewis Hamilton, even if Alex did get rookie of the year award last year. And I am a Lewis fan and have been since he came into F1. But, I think this ‘batter Alex chatter’ is unjust even if Lewis played mindgames with that also!

      1. Max 2015, full year, 19 races (4 DNF’s), WDC 12th, points 49

        1. So you are comparing someone’s Red Bull stats with Toro Rosso’s? You can only fairly compare against a team mate and Albon is frankly nowhere.

          He is battling the McLaren or Renault most of the time because of lack of pace and more recently, with Gasly in an Alpha Tauri. He managed to be at the front a few times due to strategy but even then fluffed the opportunities with lack of race craft.

          I wouldn’t mind him completing the year in Red Bull but he is not worthy of that seat and hasn’t shown much improvement.

          1. ah yes, of course, not equal cars. But wait a mo, according to RedBull, they are not driving equal cars at the moment.as you say “You can only fairly compare against a team mate ” in equal cars and with equal experience.

        2. Max had 4th places with a Toro rosso, Albon has 4th places with a Redbull

          But it doesn’t really matter who you put in the 2nd redbull, Max will probably crush him anyway

    2. I think Red Bull know how they are being perceived and really want it to work this time. Therefore Albon will be cut some more slack. Truth is that Max is just an amazing driver who can control an unstable car, just like the top drivers do when it rains. Until 2022, RB have no real good option.

      1. very good point Jon H

  4. Alvin is doing fine, his problem is that he’s teammate with F1s fastest driver by quite some margin.

    He’d be right there with a Hamilton or LeClerc (good drivers) but next to a Verstappen its like being next to a Senna or Schumacher.

  5. This feels like the same setup disaster they had in Hungary. Before that race weekend weekend all the blah about how this time they would be going for the win they should have taken in 2019. Yet when the weekend progressed they went quiet and the sad “we’re just not fast enough, but we don’t understand why” mumbling started.

    Somehow the Red Bull drivers and engineers just can’t seem to be able to consistently get that car setup properly.

    Verstappen must be a hell of a demotivator for the team too. He practically throws them under the bus and states that he doesn’t want to drive even.

  6. I feel bad for this kid finally makes into top f1 team only for that team to use you as a ladder to make max taller

    1. What a difference in attitude between the two RB drivers. Alex satisfied and Max furious for fighting McLaren and Racing point rather than Mercedes. That alone must translate into 0,3 per lap

  7. Managed to turn his 9th into a super smooth 15th on race day.

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