Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon has said “it was nice to give the team something back” for their support after finishing third in the Formula 1 Tuscan Grand Prix.
Albon has come under a lot of pressure this season for supposedly under-performing, especially in relation to his teammate Max Verstappen, but Red Bull have consistently reiterated that they have faith in the British born Thai driver.
He has come close to podium results before, notably at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year and the Austrian Grand Prix at the start of this season, but both results were lost due to collisions with Lewis Hamilton.
But, on Sunday, Albon recovered from a slow start at the final restart following a red flag, in which he lost a few positions, to climb back up the order and cross the line third, securing his first podium position in Formula 1.
Speaking after the race, Albon said: “I’m really happy and it took a while to get here!
“It’s something I’ve always wanted and one way or another we haven’t been able to get it so to be there today is pretty special.
“It’s really nice to give the team something back after they’ve supported me since day one and show them what I can do.
“It was a tough race and definitely not one of the easy ones.
“This track is brutal, especially the high speed corners in sector two, and with so many re-starts to manage we had our work cut out.”
Having lost two positions at the final restart, Albon had to battle his way back to third position, capping it off with a fine overtake on the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, and the Red Bull driver added that he knew he had to be aggressive and was fired up by his poor getaway.
“We struggled to get off the line so I knew I had to be aggressive to get all the overtakes done but we had a really good car and we know it’s good on the brakes so we used that to our advantage.
“When we lost two positions on the final re-start, I was fired up as I wasn’t going to let the opportunity of a podium go by so I pushed hard to get third and I’m over the moon with today’s result.”
Albon’s boss, Christian Horner also said that he believes the result will give Albon the confidence boost he needed to get his form back on an upward trajectory.
“He’s done a great job all weekend and he had to pass some tough competitors to fight his way back through the field after a couple of difficult starts.” Horner said about Albon’s performance.
“All credit to him because he hasn’t let the negativity or external criticism get him down, he’s picked himself up and put in a first class performance.
“I think this podium will give him a boost of confidence and self-belief and I’m sure he will only get stronger from here.”