For the first time in his FIA Formula 2 Championship career, Alexander Albon stood on the podium, with the Thai driver securing an excellent second place during Sunday’s Sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.
The ART Grand Prix driver was unable to do anything about Artem Markelov out front, but he was able to withstand the pressure from Oliver Rowland until the chequered flag, with the podium made even more remarkable with the fact that he is still recovering from a broken collarbone that caused him to miss the previous round in Azerbaijan.
Albon confirmed himself as a star of the series with this result, holding off Rowland despite locking up his tyres early and causing him to have a flat spot, which made life tricky as he dealt with a large vibration, but he held on to claim the runners-up spot, just 1.458 seconds behind race winner Markelov.
“It’s been quite a tough start to the year, and then obviously breaking my collarbone made it worse!” said Albon on fiaformula2.com. “But obviously missing Baku I wanted to come back really strong, and it’s been a good weekend in general, even if we’re missing a little pace. So to be up here has been a long road, and I’m really happy to be here.
“After the safety car I had a big lock up, and I had a big flat spot for the whole race: to be honest I thought my race was done because I was side by side with Oli out of turn 1 and vibrating like crazy!
“It was malleable, and I think just on the limit of being the type where you just keep locking, and Oli was really strong at the end, but I knew that if I just kept my pace I’d be okay: I was more surprised at how quickly he was catching me!”