This weekend will see Alexander Albon race at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time in his career, with the Thai driver eager to continue the momentum from Mexico City last weekend into the United States Grand Prix.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver arrives in Austin on the back of his strongest weekends since joining Red Bull in Mexico, where he ran as high as third before finishing fifth, not far behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“I think Mexico was a good weekend and probably one of my best races in terms of pace since joining the Team, so I’m even more excited to get to the track and continue that momentum,” he said.
Albon has never previous driven the Austin track but he is excited to get the weekend underway and experience what he believes will be a ‘cool race’.
“I’ve never driven the track in Austin but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it,” said Albon. “The circuit looks really fun, especially the first sector, and it’s a bit like Suzuka so I’m excited to get there and experience it.
“The US Grand Prix seems like a cool race, I think you have a bit more downforce on the car than in Mexico which makes it more fun to drive. This will also be my first proper time in America so I’m excited to experience the culture and of course the food!”
Albon hopes to find the rhythm needed to be quick around the Circuit of the Americas quickly so he can be confident for both Qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday as he bids for his maiden podium finish of his Formula 1 career.
“On the simulator, the track seemed quite bumpy and I think it’s built on a marshland if I’m not mistaken, so apparently you can feel that,” said the Thai driver. “On this kind of track, it’s very much about rhythm so it will be important to get into that early in the weekend.
“There’s also more run off areas so you can push the limits a bit further, but not too far!”
Team-mate Max Verstappen endured a tougher Mexican Grand Prix than Albon, with contact on the opening lap with Lewis Hamilton being compounded by contact on lap five with the second Mercedes AMG Motorsport machine of Valtteri Bottas that saw him suffer a puncture.
He was able to recover from falling to the back of the field to finish sixth, but he knows more was definitely possible at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
“Sixth in Mexico was not where we hoped to finish as the car was so quick, but it was a decent recovery from twentieth after everything that happened early in the race,” said the Dutchman.
Verstappen will compete in his one-hundredth Grand Prix this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, and he admits to liking the track as it holds a good combination of corners that makes it an enjoyable circuit to drive.
“It’s always good to be back in Austin and it’s a cool track to have my 100th F1 race at,” said Verstappen. “I enjoy America in general and especially Texas.
“I really like the track, it’s quite bumpy for a new circuit and it’s got a good combination of old school corners which makes it very nice to drive. Our car should hopefully be pretty competitive there and we had a fun race last year coming from the back through to the podium.
“A lot is possible at this track as there are so many good overtaking opportunities which makes things interesting in the race.”