Singapore Grand Prix a 'battle of management' for Red Bull's Alex Albon
Alex Albon declared his sixth-placed finish at the Singapore Grand Prix as a ‘battle of management’ as he maintained his grid position to the finish line for another eight F1 points in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Thai-Briton, who was raised in Bures and went to Littlegarth School in Nayland, had plenty of support in south-east Asia. But the driver, recently promoted to Red Bull from sister team Torro Rosso, found over-taking the pair of Mercedes’ cars in front of him on the Marina Bay Street Circuit an impossible task.
“Most of that race was just managing my tyres, so it was physically easier than I expected,” he said of the weekend’s night race. “It was only in the last 20 laps when I was really pushing it that I could feel the strain.
“I would call it a battle of management as I started P6 and finished P6.
“At times it felt more like a procession than a race for me. It was also a bit frustrating as I spent the whole race stuck behind a Mercedes.
“As I couldn’t overtake on the track I hoped that a pit stop would move me up the field, but unfortunately that didn’t happen and then the safety car came out a few times.
“In the middle stint I wanted to get past Valtteri but I didn’t have the pace to overtake the Mercedes.
“I spent the whole race staring at a silver rear wing, which wasn’t that fun.
“When he pushed I pushed and when he saved his tyres I saved mine, so I felt like I was just going backwards and forwards and it almost felt like he backed me up so Lewis (Hamilton) could get ahead."
But ahead of this weekend’s Russia Grand Prix he did reflect on how he is improving race by race in his rookie F1 season.
"All in all for my first time here it was a positive race," he said of the result which leaves the 23-year-old in eighth place in the Drivers' Championship standings with 42 points.
"My pace was a lot better, so I’m definitely making progress. Even during the race I was finding little tricks to improve my speed."
Of the support he received, he said: "I was amazed by how many Thai flags were out there in the crowd, so it was great to be racing here.”