Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Albon disagrees he was at fault over Mugello restart crash

2020 Russian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Alexander Albon disagrees with the stewards’ verdict that he was partly to blame for the crash during the Safety Car restart at Mugello which put four drivers out of the race.

The stewards issued formal warnings to 12 of the 18 drivers who took part in the restart for “inconsistent application of throttle and brake, from the final corner along the pit straight”. Albon, who was running fourth at the time, was the first driver in the queue to be warned over his driving.

But the Red Bull driver said it was clear he hadn’t been at fault. “We actually emailled them back about it because there was obviously nothing that I did that was strange or erratic,” said Albon when asked by RaceFans.

Albon believes the circumstances of the restart, and the late notice race leader Valtteri Bottas had before the Safety Car pitted, made it hard to avoid the crash.

“It was obviously a concertina effect,” said Albon. “I think it’s very much a track layout thing. You see it in Baku, you see it in Mugello, when the straight’s long enough you’re going to leave it to the last minute because the slipstream effect is so big. And that’s the consequence.

“I don’t know if there’s a way we can make it safer to be honest I’m not sure how you would do it. The Safety Car giving us such little time to react to the situation doesn’t help that. I think Valtteri had to stay within 10 car lengths up until the last corner so he didn’t have enough to to create a space.

“So I don’t blame any driver, I think it’s just how it is. The thing is, when you get these gaps forming, everyone is basically trying to guess where Valtteri is going to go. That’s when you get everyone trying to accelerate to the line because they know that’s where Valtteri’s going to do.

“It’s one of those things. It’s not anyone’s fault driver-wise. It just needs some way of changing the format.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 Russian Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 Russian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Albon disagrees he was at fault over Mugello restart crash”

  1. From the multiple replays, to me it looked like Kvyat and Russel were the main ones that effectively triggered this, but they shouldn’t be blamed more than the rest. Each driver was responsible for going that bit too early so that is why I think such a large number got a warning. Grosjean, Vettel, Leclerc and Kimi were all near the back I think and they managed to avoid playing a part in it – at least according to the stewards.

    It is so hard to but specific blame on any driver, but I do think all those who got the warnings could have done things slightly differently. Some left too bigger gap, some drove a bit too close.

    1. Leclerc was 3rd and he kept nearly constant distance to Lewis all the way to the line.

      1. Yea, sorry, i got mixed up with where Leclerc was. Vettel was at the back due to an incident and Leclerc by the end of the race seemed to have slipped back to being right with Vettel.

        My point being that if Kimi, Grosjean and Vettel judged the situation right and they were even further away from the leaders, those in the middle who all got reprimanded shouldn’t have found it quite as hard as they did.

        1. * Warnings not reprimands

  2. Indeed, I just watched again the replay of the race and I fail to see what Albon did wrong at the restart.
    If the FIA has legitimate reasons to find him partly to blame for the crash, I am curious why Leclerc or Hamilton were not blamed, as he did nothing differently from them.

  3. Turn the Mugello restart crash into an investigation documentary episode.

  4. Of course he disagrees that he was at fault, even partially. He is still maintaining he had no part in the accidents with Hamilton.

    Granted, in Brazil his only fault was running wide while braking impossibly late to defend. But in Austria, his over optimism partly caused the crash.

    I’m not saying he caused this crash, there were too many factors – but he was involved and needs to accept that.

    He needs to learn to accept his mistakes and learn from them – it’s a common fault in a lot of young drivers, so I don’t want to be too harsh – but look how quickly Verstappen improved when he learned to be just a little more circumspect.
    Also Hamilton and many others have learned the same lesson early in their careers in F1.

  5. The FIA need to watch Palmer’s analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.