“A good recovery from both drivers in a difficult race” – Christian Horner

by Tom Cairns
Christian Horner - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing at the 2019 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Practice 1

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was satisified with both performances from Alexander Albon and Max Verstappen despite the Monza circuit not being the most suited to the RB15.

In only his second race for the team since his promotion from Toro Rosso Honda, Albon was able to prove why the Austrian outfit were correct in giving the Thai driver to race in the top team at the expense of Pierre Gasly.

The twenty-three year old lost two places from eighth position on the grid and after getting back past Antonio Giovinazzi quickly, he tussled with the McLaren F1 Team of Carlos Sainz Jr. on the third lap and contact at the Lesmo sent Albon back down the order to thirteenth.

After capitalising on the mistakes of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll a few tours afterwards, the Red Bull driver was back up into the points and remained out of anymore trouble for the rest of the race to finish in sixth place.

“It was a good recovery by both drivers in what turned out to be a difficult race,” Horner said. “Alex lost a couple of places on the first lap and was fighting his way back through the field but he got run wide with Carlos Sainz which dropped him back behind a couple of cars.

“He started making up positions before unfortunately picking up a five second penalty whilst passing Magnussen, which he had to serve at his pit stop. Overall, it was a good recovery drive from Alex to come back up to P6.”

Alexander Albon - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in the 2019 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Grid
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Verstappen’s race was more of an uphill climb. Beginning the race nineteenth after multiple new engine components saw him make contact with Sérgio Perez at the first corner on the opening lap and pitted for a new front wing.

Being in clear air for the opening stages of the race, the Dutchman was able to display his fighting spirit, pace and determination. Pitting before the Virtual Safety Car saw cars leapfrog the seven-time race winner, leaving him having to sacrifice life on his tyres to overtake them again on his way to eighth by the finish.

“As for Max, he started the race from the back of the grid due to the engine penalty and he unfortunately incurred some front-wing damage at the first chicane,” Horner added on Verstappen’s performace.

“This meant he had to pit for a nose change on the opening lap, which the boys did in under 10 seconds and then the virtual safety car came out one lap later which was unlucky.

“Once he was in clear air, Max’s pace was equal to that of the leaders and he was able to make up some good ground despite a slight issue with the rev limiter in the tow which made it very difficult for him to overtake.

“Nonetheless, coming from the back of the grid to P8 with an extra pit stop and with Alex in P6, we leave Europe and now look forward to the final stage of the season starting in Singapore.”

Red Bull have lost ground again to Scuderia Ferrari, with the gap now increased to eighty-five points going into the final seven rounds.

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