Albon plans to “disturb” Mercedes in crucial race for future

Alex Albon plans to help his Red Bull Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen by “disturbing” the strategy of rivals Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi GP.

Albon plans to “disturb” Mercedes in crucial race for future
Listen to this article

Albon put in what he felt was his best qualifying performance of the season to earn fifth on the grid for what could be a decisive race as he tries to hang onto his seat for next year.

Red Bull’s management has given him until the final event of the season to prove himself in the face of strong competition from Sergio Perez.

The top three qualifiers, Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, all qualified on medium tyres. 

However, Albon made a mistake on his medium run in Q2 and will thus start on softs, as does surprise fourth-placed man Lando Norris.

For most of the season Verstappen has been left to fight Hamilton and Bottas alone, giving Mercedes more strategy options.

“Yeah, that's the goal,” said Albon when asked the plan was to help the Dutchman take on the Mercedes drivers.

“Obviously, it's a bit of a shame because I ran a bit wide on my medium tyre run. And we didn't want to take the risk to run the mediums again, for Q2 run two, so we put the softs on, which isn't ideal, because the deg is quite high here. So that first stint might be a little bit difficult.

“But the plan is to stay close, and to be there in the mix. We've got Lando in between us. He did a very good lap, actually, so we'll have to be mindful of that.

“And of course, the McLarens are around me, and they're the best starters on the grid. So we'll focus on a good launch and trying to be in there and trying to disturb the Mercedes strategy.”

Albon felt that he has made progress in understanding the RB16.

“We know what's clicked,” he said. “I think it's important that of course, understanding why. 

"And I think you can already see it, if you watch Max's onboard, if you watch the laps that he does, the car is never still, it's always on the edge, it's always moving around.

“And especially the car is on the edge and the rear is quite sensitive, to be able to have that feeling, that confidence to run that much front in the car, let's say, and then to be comfortable with it.

“That's what's really important and that bit was quite difficult, especially at the start of the year, but it feels like as I said, we did some things behind the scenes and I just feel more more comfortable to be on that kind of neutral side of the car balance, and being able to wrestle the car a bit more.”

Read Also:

Regarding his future, Albon insists he doesn’t know what the timing would be on a decision from Red Bull.

“On my side it's just more about doing the best job I can right now, and having a good day today is obviously positive,” he said.

“Of course I would have wanted to be a bit better, but I've still got tomorrow to do a good job. 

"At least on see my side it's more about doing the best job I can, and making sure I've done everything that is in my control to get the seat for next year.

“I mean, truthfully, [the timing] doesn't change too much. Because firstly, I've been in this position many a time, not knowing what I'm gonna do at this time of the year. But also it doesn't change how I go into the race.

“Of course, it would be nice to know. But it is the holidays after this. So obviously with family, and there's no more races coming up after this one. So I won't be constantly thinking about it, I'll be eating turkey.”

shares
comments

Related video

How the cocktail for F1's superteams became outdated
Previous article

How the cocktail for F1's superteams became outdated

Next article

Ricciardo: Alonso run shows F1 needs to bring back 'wow factor'

Ricciardo: Alonso run shows F1 needs to bring back 'wow factor'
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
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022