Alexander Albon: “The race didn’t turn out quite how we wanted”

by Paul Hensby

Alexander Albon was not too pleased with the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, despite the Thai driver taking his eighth top six result in nine races since his move to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Albon attempted to make the undercut work to his favour to pass Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, but this did not work, and when Vettel pitted a second time, Albon did not follow suit and was passed in the closing laps by the German for fifth.

With Vettel on fresher rubber, Albon had no chance of denying the German the position, particularly when his own Pirelli tyres were not lasting as long as they were hoping for.

“The race didn’t turn out quite how we wanted but we will have a look at it,” admitted Albon.  “We pitted early to try and undercut Seb but it didn’t work and then we got stuck behind a train of traffic without DRS.

“That made for a long second stint and the tyres just didn’t last until the end and Seb cleared a lot of cars quicker than we probably expected.”

Despite his feelings about the final race, Albon was happy with his rookie season as a whole, which started at Scuderia Toro Rosso but ended up with Red Bull following a mid-season switch with Pierre Gasly.

He admits there are still things to work on ahead of 2020 in order to be stronger, but the security of knowing where he will be racing next year means he can focus on that and not where or what he will be racing, as it has been in the past few seasons.

“It’s one of those things but looking back over the season I can be happy,” said Albon.  “I know there’s some work to do and areas I have to improve but it’s my rookie year so that’s always going to be the case.

“I feel like the racing has been good, the pace still needs work, but that will come with experience. We’re testing next week so we’ll continue the hard work and come back stronger next year.

“It’s nice to spend the winter knowing where I’ll be racing next year so I can focus on the job in hand. I’m really enjoying working with the Team so I can’t wait for 2020.”

Alexander Albon finished inside the top six in eight of the final nine Grand Prix in 2019 – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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