Formula 1

Albon Needs to Put Bahrain Practice Crash ‘Out of His Mind’ – Christian Horner

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Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Christian Horner says it is important Alexander Albon forgets about his free practice crash on Friday and concentrates on the job in hand at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Albon crashed heavily during Friday evening’s practice session, losing control and hitting the barriers on the exit of the final turn, with substantial damage being made to this RB16.

However, Horner, the Team Principal of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, says the Thai drivers’ pace in recent times, particularly through the Turkish Grand Prix weekend and into this weekend, has improved, and he needs to put the crash behind him and focus on driving to the best of his ability to give himself the best chance of remaining with the team in 2021.

“He’s just got to try and put it out of his mind because actually in Istanbul and so far this weekend in terms of characteristics and a feeling for the car it’s been getting better and better,” Horner said the Sky F1.

“His feedback has been very consistent with that of Max’s, so it’s a great shame that he’s had that accident.  He didn’t get a first lap on the medium tyres, so he just has got on to the back foot and that accident obviously doesn’t help.”

Horner admits the accident is frustrating, and the damage caused to the car kept the mechanics busy as they repaired the RB16 ahead of final practice on Saturday afternoon.

“Frustrating. Thankfully Alex is okay that’s the main thing,” said Horner.  “Obviously there’s a lot of superficial damage, the monocoque looks okay, the engine looks okay, it’s not our race gearbox, but it’s certainly going to keep our guys busy.

“It’s difficult to quantify it in money but it’s a significant amount because obviously the car has been then pulled into the barrier and it’s at least three corners if not all four corners of rear wing, front wing and nose box, it’s a significant amount.”

Albon admitted he should have backed off earlier than he did in the crash, but ultimately it was the lack of grip that surprised the Thai driver.

“I’ve had a few of them, I’m used to it,” Albon said, also to Sky F1.  “It was just one of them things that I should have pulled out of really, I was a bit surprised by the lack of grip.

“But it was just one of those things. It’s quite a difficult, awkward angle them crashes, so not fun.  I did back out, but not enough basically. When you are one tyre on the atsro and one tyre on the grip, that’s when the tank slapper happens.

“I would say in FP1 the car was feeling pretty good straight away.  Then in FP2 if anything I tried a couple of things, didn’t quite work out, but actually more on the driving just getting up to speed.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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