By Full Contact News and Views
The 2019 Formula 1 season is underway and client Alex Albon was finally unveiled as a fully fledged F1 driver.
Alex, who is racing for Scuderia Toro Rosso, arrived in Melbourne with his F1 experience limited solely to the pre-season testing at Barcelona (a circuit he was very familiar with from junior racing). By some distance the least experienced driver on the grid, coupled with the fact that Melbourne is a notoriously tough circuit for even the accomplished F1 drivers, this was always going to be a very tough start.
After progressing tentatively through the free practice sessions, Alex shone in his first ever F1 qualifying session on Saturday – reaching Q2 and out-qualifying his experienced team-mate. A 13th place start on debut was impressive, as was Alex’s comfortable start from the packed grid on Sunday – quickly moving up to 11th place and challenging the points positions. Unfortunately tyre strategy and traffic would prove to check the progress of both Alex and a number of other drivers (and conversely benefiting those on alternative strategies) and with the Melbourne circuit notably difficult to overtake on, there was little Alex could do but bring the car home in 14th place. To finish on his debut Grand Prix was in itself an achievement and the experience gained will prove to be invaluable.
Commenting on his first F1 weekend, Alex said “Mixed feelings today! It was my first experience of a race weekend and I didn’t really know what to expect. The race started off very well, I dropped the clutch and thought ‘great, that was okay!’ I made up two positions straight away and at that time we were in the mix, as I was already one position away from the points. That was pretty much as good as it got for me, though. We were in a battle with Giovinazzi, I think he was struggling with his tyres and everyone on that strategy lost out. All of the guys who stayed out on the harder compound behind overcut us. That compromised our race but I’m still happy with how my weekend went. I think we could have had points so that stings a little, but it was a good experience and I came away with a clean weekend, relatively speaking!”
Formula 1 now moves on to Bahrain, in two week’s time, where Alex will look to build on a debut which was – despite his modest tendencies – very impressive in all the circumstances.
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Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
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