Aston Martin Red Bull Racing had so much hope and expectation going into the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix weekend but ultimately it was an underwhelming Grand Prix for the team.
Max Verstappen took pole position on Saturday, only for it to be taken away after he failed to slow down during yellow flags when Valtteri Bottas crashed at the final corner in qualifying.
A scrappy battle on the opening lap with eventual victor, Lewis Hamilton, saw Verstappen drop down the order and a move on Bottas in the baseball stadium resulted in a puncture for the Dutchman.
“Sixth obviously isn’t where I wanted to finish today with the car we had but when you look at the circumstances I think it was still a very good race,” said Verstappen.
Verstappen did not blame anyone for the incident at turn two with Hamilton: “I had a good start and I think Lewis [Hamilton] got pushed onto the grass by a Ferrari so he lost some momentum. He came back around the outside at Turn 1 and then into Turn 2 he went very deep to defend and I had to go onto the grass to avoid him.”
“The result is a shame as the pace was good and the car was good but to come back to sixth was actually not a bad result if you look at everything that went on.”
Alexander Albon was satisfied with his race in terms of pace, after fighting for the podium in the first part of the race, only to be comprimised with strategy which led to a quiet second half of the Grand Prix.
The Thai driver said: “Today was ok and I had good fun. I think it was one of my best races in terms of pace and the guys in front weren’t too far ahead!
“At the start we were running third and I was getting quite excited. It was great to be fighting at the front but unfortunately their one stop strategy worked out better.
“Overall, I’m happy with my performance and I’m improving my consistency which is important. The lap times are coming and now I’ve got three more races to improve even further!”
Team Principal, Christian Horner, shared Albon’s thoughts on his race pace and his progress since joining Red Bull in August.
“Alex was running in third place after avoiding the early race madness and pitted early as we chose to go onto a two-stop strategy with him.
“He lost a bit of time on his out lap behind [Carlos] Sainz but thereafter it transpired that the one-stop was the faster race and while Alex had good pace it was impossible to close the gap. He’s showing good progress each weekend and signs of getting closer and closer to the pace.”
On the car performance, Horner said: “We had a very quick race car this weekend and P5 and P6 ultimately isn’t the result we’d hoped for but there are definitely some positives to take.”