Alex Albon believes Red Bull has made clear progress with its car despite crashing heavily during second practice for the British Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen topped FP1 before Albon — who was fourth in the first session — was second quickest in FP2 when he lost control at Stowe and hit the barrier backwards. The heavy impact triggered the FIA sensor that saw the medical car deployed but Albon was able to walk way from the crash, admitting he was caught by surprise how the car snapped away.
“We’ll have to look at it,” Albon said. “The rear went quite quickly and I struggled to correct it. I thought I had it but then you get the tank slapper as well. We’ll have a look at the data and see.”
Despite that incident, Albon was encouraged by Red Bull’s showing on Friday after the team ran upgrades aimed at addressing some of the weaknesses that showed up in the opening rounds of the season.
“Yeah, I think we’ve definitely made a step as a team,” he said. “The car feels good. We expected worse, to be honest coming into Friday but the car was hooked up straight away the first time we drove it in FP1. It’s looking good; obviously I’m sure the Mercs are hiding quite a lot so we’ll watch them tomorrow. Otherwise as a car it feels more balanced. Today the weather and wind is much different to what we’ll get tomorrow so it will be a bit of a reset starting then.
“I think it’s more an understanding of the team’s side of things, understanding the car a bit better, and just adjusting the driving style and adapting to the car a bit better. Obviously I say that — I still put it in the wall — but there are a lot of positives.”
Albon was also dealing with a new race engineer on Friday as he started work with Simon Rennie, something he said proved to be a smooth transition.
“It was not much different to what I’m used to. Just Simon’s done this role a lot, so the whole process went pretty seamlessly.”