In the author’s column on the team’s website, the head of Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, summed up the results of the past Grand Prix of Tuscany …
Christian Horner: “Although Alex Albon was wearing a mask, even underneath it was visible his big smile on the podium in Mugello. In addition, he became the first Thai driver to climb the podium in Formula 1. The last race completed the third series of triple stages and the first half of the 2020 season.
I am glad that last Sunday Alex took to the podium for the first time. He has come under tremendous pressure this year, especially from the press. He is a very nice guy, but a psychologically strong driver. I am impressed by how he manages to pull himself together in the race after unsuccessful qualifications.
In the last three races, he has made significant progress. Alex always goes deep into the causes of problems and works hard. He is an excellent analyst and is always extremely honest in evaluating his performances.
At the same time, Alex is a very persistent racer who knows how to “work with his elbows” – this is one of the reasons why he competes for Red Bull. He never gives up and always continues to fight – this is what we expect from our riders. Remember his overtaking Daniel Riccardo and Sergio Perez in Mugello on his way to the podium.
Daniel Riccardo is one of the most difficult opponents, he always slows down as late as possible in corners. Daniel fought not only for the podium, but also for the right to choose a tattoo design for Cyril Abiteboul! There was not a single chance that Riccardo would let Alex pass without a fight, so he had to be overtaken in the outer radius in the first corner – a daring and brilliant maneuver.
It’s good that Alex went up to the podium. It helps the riders a lot when they realize they can climb the podium and fight victories. They realize from the series: “I am capable of it.” I hope the result will give Alex confidence and he will continue to show results that will show that he deserves his place in Formula 1.
Alex became not only the first Thai podium driver, but also the first podium driver for his racing team since Daniel in Monaco in 2018. The team treats him well, everyone is happy for him and wishes him further success.
You can understand Max Verstappen after the second outing in a row. In Mugello, he was eliminated on the first lap. We have a very fast car, and we managed to make good progress with the balance – which is why the retirement so annoyed Max. Get off right after the start, when the adrenaline is at the limit … It is quite natural that on the radio we heard everything he thinks.
We really thought that Mercedes could have been forced to fight in that race. Max worked hard to get ahead of Lewis at the start, but hopes were not destined to come true.
The second consecutive retirement was a huge disappointment, especially considering how much he craves success. If he did not have this aspiration, he would not be such a driver. We all want to fight for victory every weekend. Max should forget about failures and look ahead. Before the stage in Sochi, we will discuss with him and Honda what we can do to improve in the next race.
I expect that Mercedes will once again dominate in Sochi, as these types of tracks are suitable for their car, but this year the degradation of rubber is becoming an interesting factor. Last weekend, Mercedes did not have any serious problems with the tires, but we heard how nervous they were when instructing the riders to stay away from curbs. It will be great if we are competitive in Sochi and put pressure on Mercedes.
As for the situation in the championship, we are in the role of outsiders, and each race for us is equivalent to the final match for the cup. We will continue to attack as we have nothing more to lose. We are determined to return to the fight for the title – and we will.
Mercedes has set the bar high and does a great job, but you can beat anyone. We have to work hard and gather the right people around us – I am sure that our team has everything we need.
Due to the fact that the races were one after another, we did not have enough time to comprehend the victory of Pierre Gasly in Monza. He did a great job and seized opportunities on a day when we did not claim to win, and Mercedes suddenly had problems. There is nothing better when our sister team – AlphaTauri wins in such a situation.
Great result for them, and it’s nice to see new faces on the podium. A brilliant result for Pierre, but from our point of view, it does not change anything. AlphaTauri is more of a sister team than a youth team. The goals of the teams are different, so having an experienced and talented rider like Pierre helps a lot.
As for Honda, they were the only powerplant manufacturer to win races in the hybrid era with two different teams. A phenomenal achievement. They share our pain of defeat and the joy of victory – we have a true partnership. We really enjoy working with everyone at Honda and are committed to solving problems as much as possible. We have a common goal – together to win the title in Formula 1 ”.