Alexander Albon started and finished sixth in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, with the Thai driver admitting he was frustrated to be staring at the rear wing of Valtteri Bottas throughout much of the sixty-one-lap race.
The Red Bull Racing driver felt he had more pace than he was able to show but having the Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver ahead of him made his race more of a procession, with his speed not enough to get a good run on Bottas to make an attempt to pass.
Never-the-less, Albon felt pleased with the result, even though Bottas did back him up a little bit to allow Lewis Hamilton to stay ahead of them both after the reigning World Champion made his pit stop
“Most of that race was just managing my tyres so it was physically easier than I expected,” revealed Albon. “It was only in the last 20 laps when I was really pushing it that I could feel the strain.
“So, I would call it a battle of management as I started P6 and finished P6. At times it felt more like a procession than a race for me. It was also a bit frustrating as I spent the whole race stuck behind a Mercedes. As I couldn’t overtake on the track I hoped that a pit stop would move me up the field but unfortunately that didn’t happen and then the safety car came out a few times.
“In the middle stint I wanted to get past Valtteri but I didn’t have the pace to overtake the Mercedes. I spent the whole race staring at a silver rear wing which wasn’t that fun. When he pushed I pushed and when he saved his tyres I saved mine so I felt like I was just going backwards and forwards and it almost felt like he backed me up so Lewis could get ahead.”
Overall, Albon was pleased with his performance in Singapore, especially as it was his first-time racing at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and only the third race outing with Red Bull. He said it was a useful experience as he continues to adapt to the RB15 after starting the season racing with sister outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso before swapping seats with Pierre Gasly during the summer break.
“All in all for my first time here it was a positive race,” said Albon. “My pace was a lot better so I’m definitely making progress. Even during the race I was finding little tricks to improve my speed.
“I was amazed by how many Thai flags were out there in the crowd so it was great to be racing here.”