Confidence key to improved Mugello form, says Albon

Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon says confidence in the car was the key to him recording his best qualifying performance of 2020 in Mugello.

Confidence key to improved Mugello form, says Albon
Listen to this article

Albon qualified fourth for the Tuscan GP, 0.445s behind teammate Max Verstappen. Although he also started from that position at the opening race of the season in Austria he was actually fifth fastest on that occasion, and benefitted from a penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

Albon has struggled to get the best out of the car in qualifying this year, but he insists that he is getting more confident.

"Each car has its quirks,” said Albon. “It's just been confidence, really. Once the confidence is there, the pace improves, it's pretty simple like that. Like a good example is this weekend in FP1, FP2, FP3, on a track like this you need a lot of confidence.

“It's one of those high-speed circuits where you've got to be able to throw the car in, and know it's going to stick.

“In qualifying, that's kind of what I felt and the pace just comes like that. So it's working with the team and getting comfortable with the car. Of course, at points you just have to kind of get on with it and drive it.

“And that's where obviously Max is very quick. He can drive very understeery cars. He's experienced as well of course. He’s in his fifth or sixth year now with the team, and I'm still getting there. 

“In Spa and Monza it already felt like a step forward with understanding what I need personally to go faster, and it's [about] getting that consistently each weekend, something to build on.

“I think the last few weekends have consistently been a step forward, and that's positive rather than a little bit of an up and down throughout the weekend, or race to race.”

Read Also:

Albon said he’s benefited from the car being more competitive than at the last two low downforce venues, where RBR slipped back from pacesetters Mercedes: “Spa, Monza, maybe as a team we weren't where we wanted to be, but actually in terms of pace, it was a step forward. So this weekend has just been a continuation of that. And it just so happens that as a team, we're more competitive as well.

“So you could say that now we're in a genuine P4, where before Max was around P5 or something like that, and it was very tight in that midfield group. So we've come into this weekend with what you could say is like a normal performance for us. And that's just made it a little bit easier this time on Saturday.

“Hopefully we'll carry that forward to Sunday as well and just have a clean and simple race.”

Team boss Christian Horner acknowledged that Albon is improving, and pinpointed rear stability as a key issue for him.

“I’d say it’s his best qualifying of the season so far,” said Horner. “In terms of delta to his teammate Spa and Monza have also been getting closer. He’s starting to make real progress, and as we’re starting to improve the car that’s starting to help as well.

“The car can be a little bit sensitive at the rear under braking, and that can make life difficult for Alex as it did for Pierre [Gasly] last year. That’s something that we’ve been very focussed on trying to address.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 should learn from Mugello's cambered corners, says Sainz
Previous article

F1 should learn from Mugello's cambered corners, says Sainz

Next article

Ineos in link to Mercedes Formula 1 buy-in

Ineos in link to Mercedes Formula 1 buy-in
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022