Alexander Albon was one of the standout performers during Thursday’s track action at the Circuit de Monaco, with the Anglo-Thai racer putting his Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 fifth fastest in the afternoon practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Formula 1 rookie has past experience driving around the streets of Monaco during his time in FIA Formula 2 but 2019 represents his first chance to drive there in a Formula 1 car, and although he had a low-key morning session in which he finished down in fourteenth position, his afternoon session was one full of positives.
Completing fifty-one laps, Albon set a best time of 1:12.031 and was only beaten by Mercedes AMG Motorsport duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, and Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly at the top of the time sheets, with his lap good enough to beat the likes of both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Albon knows there is still work to be done in order to maintain this kind of position, but he admits it is a nice feeling to be so high up the order on the opening day of running in Monaco.
“It was a good day for us, it’s really fun out there and I like the track a lot,” said Albon. “I think we got the car in the right window, now we just need to study what we’ve learnt from today, so we can fine-tune the car and get ready for Saturday.
“We made a couple of adjustments for the afternoon session and I like how the car feels. We’re cautious that other teams will improve for Saturday but finishing in the top five is a nice feeling.”