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

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
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Sakhir GP
Drivers Alex Albon
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Luke Smith
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021