Alexander Albon’s wait for a maiden Q3 appearance in Formula 1 goes on after frustratingly falling short in Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had shown good pace throughout free practice and was a genuine candidate heading into the session for his first top ten start but found himself on the wrong side of the cut off time when the chequered flag fell.
Albon lays the blame on the failure to join team-mate Daniil Kvyat inside the top ten on his failure to generate enough temperature into his Pirelli tyres, which he struggled with when the air and track temperatures dropped as dusk fell on the Baku City Circuit.
“It was a bit of a frustrating end to Qualifying,” said Albon. “We had the pace for Q3 the whole weekend, just not when it mattered.
“I was struggling with the tyre temperatures and trying to get them in the right range, especially after the big temperature drop near the end of the session. Maybe I didn’t get the warm up lap right, because I struggled for confidence when the track was cold and the car started to slide around a bit.”
Albon has been involved in crazy races in Baku before having competed there in the FIA Formula 2 championship, and the last two Formula 1 races there have also been amongst the most unpredictable of the season.
As a result, he knows a points finish is definitely a possibility, which would be his third in as many races as he bids to continue his impressive start to his Formula 1 career.
“Tomorrow’s a new day and anything can happen here,” said Albon. “We’ve seen how chaotic it can be so it’s all to play for.”