Despite crashing towards the end of the afternoon practice session at Silverstone on Friday, Alexander Albon says there are a lot of positives to take away from the day, with the Thai driver ending second fastest overall.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver lost control of his RB16 at Stowe, spinning around and hitting the barriers to end his afternoon session after just thirteen laps, although his time of 1:27.364 was already good enough to end second fastest, 0.090 seconds behind pacesetter Lance Stroll.
Albon says they will have to work out why the car snapped on him as it did as he was unable to react quick enough to prevent the hit into the barriers, which lost him valuable track time as a result.
“There are a lot of positives to take from today despite the incident at the end of FP2,” said Albon. “I’m fine and it wasn’t that bad.
“The rear just went away quite quickly, and I struggled to correct it. I thought I caught it and then I just got sent into a tank slapper. We’ll have a look at the data and see what happened there.”
Albon feels the team has made a step forward in performance this weekend, but he does not believe the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team has shown their true speed at this time, so he expects them to jump ahead of Red Bull when it matters on Saturday afternoon.
“As a Team though I think we’ve definitely made a step,” believes Albon. “We expected worse coming into today, but the car feels good and it was hooked up straight away from the first lap in FP1.
“Obviously, I’m pretty sure the Mercedes are hiding a lot so we’ll be watching them tomorrow but otherwise on our side the car feels more balanced and I think we have a better understanding of it.
“The wind and temperatures tomorrow will be very different to what we’ve had today so it will be a little bit of a reset but it’s looking good so far.”
Verstappen Pleased with Friday Pace and Red Bull Updates
Team-mate Max Verstappen had topped the morning session on Friday, but the Dutchman was unable to put in a truly representative qualifying simulation time in the afternoon after encountering traffic, leaving him fourteenth.
Red Bull have brought a number of updates to their RB16 this weekend in a bid to make the car more driveable and to attempt to close the gap to Mercedes at the front of the field.
“I got blocked on my fast lap and then moved on to race runs, so I don’t have a proper time on the board for FP2 but in the end that doesn’t matter on a Friday and it wasn’t a bad day for us,” said Verstappen.
“We keep developing and bringing new parts to the car and they seem like they are working a bit better, so I’m happy with that and the direction. There are of course still things that we can improve and on a Friday you don’t know what the others are doing. We will keep working but overall the car looked and felt better today.
“On the long runs we also looked quite decent but who knows what the weather will be like for the rest of the weekend and how that will change things! Overall, I would say it was a positive day, but we will see where we really are tomorrow.”