Had Aston Martin Red Bull Racing given Alexander Albon a better-balanced car at Silverstone, he would have easily made it through to the top ten shootout, according to Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan.
Albon has struggled during this weekend’s British Grand Prix so far, crashing during Friday afternoon’s second practice session before sitting out three-quarters of an hour of Saturday morning’s final practice session with an electrical issue.
This left the Thai driver with little preparation ahead of Qualifying, and he subsequently was eliminated in Q2 and will start the race down in twelfth position. However, Monaghan says the team can take a lot of blame for his problems as the instability of the RB16 is making driving difficult for Albon.
“You often find around here when it gets a little bit windy the car is gonna be a little bit tricky to drive,” Monaghan is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“And I think it’s fair to say that if you looked at Friday’s pace, then it’s a little bit disappointing for Alex as much as anybody to not reach Q3. Certainly he’s capable and the car’s capable, we’ve just got to actually sort it out for him to allow him to do it.
“I think it’s just actually working out how to drive this place in terms of you’ve got sort of a low-speed corner in Sector One and a low speed corner towards the end of Sector Three, and yet the others demand quite different characteristics in the car.
“And if we could give Alex a better-balanced car, then we all know that he will then stick it straight into Q3 without any bother. So I think that the challenge lies more with us than it does with Alex, to be brutally honest with ourselves.”
Despite the honestly, Monaghan says the crash Albon suffered on Friday also would have knocked his confidence, with the lack of track time thereafter costing him dearly when it mattered.
“Banging it in the wall was never going to do his confidence any good,” added Monaghan. “The boys did a stunning job to get it rebuilt last night and then deal with our little hiccup this morning.
“We got him out for a couple of runs, so he got some running this morning as opposed to none before before qualifying, and the gain in terms of running for him is huge. We had a known quantity going into qualifying.”