After the disappointments of crashing in final practice on Saturday morning and missing Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, Alexander Albon was forced to start from the pit lane but was able to make a one-stop strategy work to score a point for tenth place on Sunday.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver thanked his mechanics for working hard to repair his heavily-damaged STR14 after his crash at the final turn of the Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday, and he feels the point he earned was a good reward for them, particularly as he was hopeful of a first Q3 appearance.
“Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work yesterday,” said Albon. “It was looking a bit dark after FP3, but the guys worked very hard last night to change the chassis, so they deserved a good race and I was happy to bring home a point to reward their effort.
“We had the pace all weekend and I was confident we had a good shot at getting into Q3, although unfortunately we didn’t get the chance due to the repairs.”
Albon gambled on making only one pit stop in a bid to secure points, and the gamble paid off despite late race pressure from Haas F1 Team racer Romain Grosjean, with late race blue flags enabling the Thai driver the chance to deny the Frenchman the final point on offer.
“It was a difficult race because we initially had planned a two-stop strategy, but the degradation was higher than most people expected,” said the Thai driver.
“Since we knew from FP2 we were good on our tyres, we decided to go for it and survive on the hard compound. I was a bit nervous at the end when Grosjean was almost catching me, but I’m really happy to have pulled that off!”