Albon feels lack of soft tyre running in FP3 led to Q2 exit

Alexander Albon lamented a lack of soft tyre running in final practice for the Formula 1 Sakhir Grand Prix after only qualifying 12th in Bahrain on Saturday.

Albon feels lack of soft tyre running in FP3 led to Q2 exit
Listen to this article

Albon is currently fighting for his Red Bull future as the team weighs up a possible swoop for free agent Sergio Perez for 2021, with a decision due to be made at the end of the season.

After scoring his second F1 podium in Bahrain last weekend, Albon’s form took a dip in qualifying on Saturday around the outer loop layout of the track as he was eliminated in Q2, finishing 12th.

It marked Albon’s worst qualifying display since the British Grand Prix in July.

The Red Bull driver felt a decision not to run the soft compound tyre in FP3 had backfired, leaving him lacking confidence as the track got quicker throughout qualifying and his rivals made improvements.

“In FP3, we did some balance changes to fix the car going into qualifying,” Albon said.

“But I think lacking some soft tyre running in FP3 could have hurt us. We got what we were intending to do, but with the soft tyre, you gain a lot of front grip at apex, and it was just tricky to balance.

"We were lacking some front in some places, front end, and having too much front in other places on the soft tyre. So it wasn’t so simple as fine tuning it with flaps or front wing, which is normally the case.

“I was pretty happy with my Q2 run one lap. That was it really.”

Read Also:

Albon lapped less than four-tenths of a second slower than Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in Q2, but the short layout and quick lap times in Bahrain meant he was 11 positions behind in the classification.

Asked if he could tell where the gap to Verstappen was, Albon said it was “very clear”.

“I could tell you I was slow without looking at the data,” Albon said.

“It’s honestly just a bit of a lack of FP3 running on the soft tyre hurt us, because it was so different. The medium and the hard is actually quite similar in terms of a feeling, but the soft is quite different.

“It’s a tricky one, and obviously it’s a lesson learned and it's more experience from my side. But it just meant that really, when it came to qualifying, it was just that it was tricky to get the low speed and the high-speed, which is Turn 7, Turn 8.

“That was the main area where I lost out on feeling well-balanced.”

Albon conceded the result was “frustrating” after feeling he was in a good position during practice on Friday, with the qualifying result leaving him in need of a fightback in the race.

“It was looking good on Friday, and truthfully, even Saturday in the beginning was OK,” Albon said.

“It was just one of those things where you drive your first lap in qualifying, and it’s like, ‘oh, this is very different to what we’ve been getting the whole weekend’.

“I’m just going to have a look, speak with the engineers, figure out where it is, and that’s it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo: Patience will be key to seizing Sakhir "opportunity"
Previous article

Ricciardo: Patience will be key to seizing Sakhir "opportunity"

Next article

Grosjean rules out Abu Dhabi Grand Prix return

Grosjean rules out Abu Dhabi Grand Prix return
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