In Mugello, Alexander Albon took the podium for the first time in Formula 1, and for Max Verstappen the race ended with a retirement.
Alexander Elbon (3rd): “I’m happy. It took some time before I managed to climb the podium! I have always strived for this, but for various reasons it did not work before. I am very happy to be able to thank the team in this way for the support from my first day at Milton Keynes – and show what I can do. I had to work hard to achieve this result, the race was not easy. This track does not forgive mistakes, especially high-speed turns in the second sector.
At the start, I had problems, so I knew that I had to act aggressively and overtake. The car worked great, we knew we had effective brakes – and we took advantage of this. Having lost two positions on the final restart, I tuned in to fight and achieved my goal. I am in seventh heaven. “
Max Verstappen (retirement): “Of course, I’m very upset – I knew we could be successful. I started well and got ahead of Lewis, but then the car stopped accelerating, the engine power dropped, so I lost speed. As a result, I rolled into the middle of the peloton and got hit from behind. When in the first few corners you find yourself in the middle of the peloton, it’s easy to get into an accident, so I’m not very upset – we just need to not find ourselves in this situation. I have nothing to say.
It’s a shame for the team, because the race ended again for me with a retirement, although we were fast. Of course, it’s nice to see that Alexander has achieved results and made it to the podium. “
Christian Horner, team leader: “Today we have mixed emotions, but it’s great that Alexander won his first podium in Formula 1. He worked great all weekend and had to get ahead of several challenging opponents to recoup after bad starts. This is entirely his merit: he did not allow negative attitudes or criticism to unbalance him. He pulled himself together and performed well. I think this podium will add confidence to him.
Unfortunately, after such a successful qualification and a positive attitude before the start, Max could not show what he was capable of in the race. He managed to cope with the most difficult task – he had a great start and caught up with Lewis, but then, due to the loss of engine power, he rolled into the middle of the peloton, where he received a blow from behind and flew into the gravel. This was the end of the race for him. Together with Honda we are studying the cause of the problems – we hope that this will not happen again. “