Alexander Albon says he was more frustrated than hurt by his heavy crash that resulted in the Toro Rosso driver missing qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Late in FP3, Albon lost control on the artificial turf exiting the final corner and slid sideways into the barrier at high speed, damaging his chassis. As a result, the car needed rebuilding around a new chassis and ruled him out of qualifying, but Albon says the hit was not too painful despite needing to be checked in the medical center.
“I’m OK, not too bad,” Albon said, “More frustrated. More emotional than physical.
“That area of the track, there’s lap time there. You can run a bit wider, it just helps you bring that entry speed into the corner, and it’s something I’ve been doing at least for the last run before and the day before as well. The line actually was fine, just a bit too much throttle.
“You always get one snap — it’s quite normal when you get onto the turf over there. But I snapped and then it snapped the other way. Once you get the tank-slapper, you’re kind of a passenger. I was hoping it would snap left to kind of spin me onto the circuit but it went right into the wall.”
Making his first appearance at the Shanghai International Circuit, Albon says errors are part of being a rookie in Formula 1, as he has to learn a number of new tracks.
“I think it’s all inevitable. I think on my side I’m just trying to push, really. Obviously there are places you can get away with it more than others. The last corner, you’re always playing with the limits when you’re pushing around there, but no, I was finding time.
“On my driving I made a big step up from yesterday but there was still places I wanted to work on, and the last corner was one of them. One of those things, but to be honest, at least the approach to the corner I have not, let’s say, regrets of it — it was just that once I was out there, I could’ve been a bit better coming back on track.”
Although he will have to start from the pit lane, Albon is hopeful of being able to recover through the field after Toro Rosso showed impressive race performance on Friday afternoon.
“I think we showed our pace a bit in FP2. I think the car’s really strong. I’m excited for the race — I think we can find something. Of course we’ll be starting from the pit lane, so we just need to shake up the strategy a bit, try to get past some cars. Maybe some safety cars will help, but we’ll see.”