Albon admits he ‘should have backed off more’ in crash

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon says he could have avoided his heavy crash during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix by backing off more than he did when he ran wide.

The Red Bull driver crashed his car at the exit of turn 14. He ran onto the Astroturf on his way out of the corner, then lost control of his car which snapped into a barrier.

“It’s OK,” he said afterwards. “Obviously I’ve had a few of them so I’m used to it, but it was OK.

“It was just one of those things, I should have pulled out of it really. I was a bit surprised by the lack of grip. Quite a difficult, awkward angle them crashes so not fun. But it’s all good.”

Albon said he “did back out but not enough” when he went wide. “When you have one tyre on the Astro and one tyre on the grip, that’s when the tank-slappers happen.”

Despite his crash, Albon had been happy with the balance of his car during practice. “It was OK, actually,” he said. “In first practice the car was feeling pretty good straight away. Then in second practice, if anything I tried a couple of things that didn’t quite work out, but actually more on the driving [side], I’m just getting up to speed.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky that Albon’s crash was “frustrating” but that initial inspections indicated it wouldn’t have a significant effect on the rest of his weekend.

“Thankfully Alex is OK, that’s the main thing. Obviously there’s a lot of superficial damage. The monocoque looked OK, the engine looks OK, it’s not a race gearbox but it’s certainly going to keep the guys busy tonight.”

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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23 comments on “Albon admits he ‘should have backed off more’ in crash”

  1. “When you have one tyre on the Astro and one tyre on the grip that’s when the tank-slappers happen.”

    his tank slapper happened when he was completely and full throttle on the Astro.
    Not good for Alex.. needs a lot of Thai influences to repair this error.

  2. It’s the kind of incident that could happen to anybody (they’ve all been running wide there at one point or another) but Albon definitely compounded the mistake by keeping his foot in it. He’s making it more difficult for Red Bull to back him, though it seems his Thai background might carry a lot of weight when the time comes to making a final decision.

  3. Another embarrassing mistake from the Thai paid pilot. A total failure. It’s a shame that this pathetic driver is racing in formula 1 with so many good drivers without a car.
    Unfortunately money rules.

    1. Albon is not that bad. He’s not even bad at all, he’s just in a panicked state because his team mate is consistently ahead.
      The pressure in the team has not allowed him to find his own feet or do things at his own pace until he fully understands how to build up his confidence over a race weekend.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        27th November 2020, 21:02

        totally agree with you

      2. +1
        I think he deserves another season.

  4. Corners raced him too hard.

    1. Next week he doesn’t have so many corners to race.

  5. Perez deserves the seat – will be a travesty if Albon remains in F1 and he doesn’t

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      27th November 2020, 21:03

      unless, of course, he manages to produce the form his RB team seem to believe (as do I) that he has

    2. PER almost took VER out in the 2nd practice session. Not a way to audition for the spot.

  6. I’ve always seen a “tank slapper” as a huge wobble that you pretty much get away with. This was a bit more than a tank slapper.

  7. Really surprised at the amount of knives out for this guy. He’s not bad; in fact given his relative experience level he’s performing pretty consistently within expectation – like did everyone forget how green he is? If a bit of luck had gone his way he’d have a couple more podiums than he currently does.

    1. @rocketpanda Well he is an easy target. It also took Verstappen some years to edge out.

    2. As is the F1 Fan™ way, it’s customary to pile on the driver going through a rough patch regardless of their level of skill.

      1. Have a look at his career performances prior to F1, it will give you an idea of his « level of skill ».

    3. @rocketpanda I think that people would be kinder if he had at least shown signs of progression over the course of the season, but there is a sense that, in some areas, he seems to have gone backwards.

      His qualifying performances haven’t improved relative to Max, and there is a sense that he’s only qualifying higher because Red Bull is pulling further away from the midfield, rather than because Albon himself is getting that much better. He’s also one of the weaker drivers in terms of his start line performance too, as on average he finishes the first lap one place lower than his grid starting position.

      He’s been involved in some clashes on track that were very clumsy and rather easily avoidable and managed to get himself several penalty points in the process, and a feeling that sometimes he’s too prone to placing himself into an avoidable situation.

      His accident today does feel like a case of him making a similar mistake – whilst Albon is suggesting he backed out of it, the onboard footage suggested he was staying on full throttle and that he was a lot wider than he seems to think he was – and it feels like a repetition of other errors that he’s made this year that seems to suggest he’s not learning from his mistakes.

      It’s also kind of hard to think of any other particular area where Albon has looked that exceptional either. His tyre management skills do not seem to be particularly exceptional, his pace in either qualifying or race trim hasn’t looked that impressive – and, more critically, the race trim aspect has looked rather inconsistent at times – and there is a feeling that he does not really seem to know how he can move forwards with his performance.

      1. @anon
        I tend to agree Albon has gone backwards this year. What I don’t get is why Red Bull can’t yet make a decision. It’s terrible management. If they don’t like what they’re seeing, then get a more experienced driver in, someone who can drive closer to Max’s level and assist more with race strategy. But if they want to keep Albon because of what they still perceive as his potential and/or the Thai connection, fair enough, but just sign him again now. The pressure is clearly doing nothing for his confidence and I really can’t see what extra information Red Bull are going to get in these 3 races. It seems to me that they’ve already made their decision (to keep him) and want him to have one good race weekend to be able to announce him being kept for next season without becoming inundated with the media asking ‘why?!’

    4. geoffgroom44 (@)
      27th November 2020, 21:10

      gr8 to see there are many others who think like I do.He is a promising driver and has,despite some comments to the contrary, been getting much better as he gets more used to this ‘difficult’ car.Qeki’s comment also sums up the situation with Max well.
      I get so tired of these constant comparisons, made by the anti-Alex brigade, with Max’s stunning performances and the expectation some have that Alex should be able to match Max in the first full RB season.
      Also, he is still ahead of Gasly in points this season…even though Gasly was ‘gifted’ a win in the Italian GP. So comparisons with Gasly also fall a bit ‘flat’

      1. Being barely ahead of Gasly ain’t a win for Albon.

        Ham/Bot/Ver are 30s ahead of everyone else most of the time the minimum expectation of Albon should be to be there in 4th place, even if he’s a half a second slower than Verstappen that should put him comfortably ahead of the rest and he most of the time isn’t.

        That he has 5 drivers between him and Max in the championship standings is just pathetic.

        Albon has to be one of the worst top team drivers I have seen since the 90s, even guys like Barrichello or Coulthard were far better.

      2. @geoffgroom44 it isn’t a great sign for Albon though that Gasly, despite having an inferior car and more retirements, should be only 7 points behind Albon in the standings.

        In terms of the World Drivers Championship, Albon is currently doing worse than Gasly did before he was switched with Albon – Gasly was 6th in the championship after the 2019 Hungarian GP, against Albon’s current position of 9th in the WDC. If you run the comparison with where they were at the 12th round of the season, then Albon was in 8th place at the time – he’s actually slipped further down the WDC table since then.

        Similarly, in terms of points scored, if you look at where Albon was at the 12th round of the 2020 championship, compared to where Gasly was in 2019 at the 12th round in Hungary, Albon has only scored 1 more point than Gasly scored in that same period.

        Although 2020 has been a strange year (to state the obvious), considering the collapse in Ferrari’s form this year, the competition that Albon faces is arguably weaker than it was in 2019 – it shows up very obviously when you look at the average points most drivers are scoring and how large the gap is between 3rd and 4th in most races.

        However, Albon’s average points score per race he finishes is basically no better than Gasly’s was in 2019 – 6.4 points, as against 6.3 for Gasly – and Gasly actually managed to finish slightly more races inside the points in 2019 in his races for Red Bull. In terms of average finishing position, Albon is worse than Gasly was last year – Gasly’s average finishing position for Red Bull before he was demoted was 7.1, and this year Albon’s average finishing position is 7.6.

        It’s not just the performance against Max – in terms of race results, at best Albon is no better than the driver he replaced, and there is a good argument that his current performance is worse than Gasly’s was in 2019 when he was demoted.

        As for the comments about the “difficult” car, it is worth remembering that part of the justification that Red Bull gave for substituting Gasly with Albon in 2019 was that, according to them, Albon’s driving style and the handling bias that he prefers is meant to be closer to what Verstappen wants than what Gasly wants.

        It also has to be said that, if the feedback from both drivers is anything to go by, the handling balance of the RB16 is now very different to what it used to be – if anything, rather than complaining of rear instability, the main complaint is that the front end is lacking grip and the car has a tendency to understeer too much.

  8. Him and his manager, the convicted fraud artist who happens to be his Mother need to be shown the door.

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