Alex Albon thanked Red Bull Racing for standing by him after taking a highly popular first podium in Formula 1 at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
A chaotic race at Mugello was interrupted by two red flags but eventually saw a familiar sight of two Mercedes drivers and a Red Bull on the podium. However, for the first time it was Albon in third and after crossing the line behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas he said over team radio: “Thanks to everyone, thanks for sticking with me!”
Amazing scenes as @alex_albon celebrates his first ever F1 podium with his team! 😍
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 13, 2020
Reflecting on the result, Albon admitted it is a weight off his shoulders after a tough season for Red Bull so far, even if he was a little nervous going around the outside of Daniel Ricciardo for third place late in the race after twice having podium results slip away due to contact with Lewis Hamilton in a similar position.
“Obviously, a while to get here but no, it was a tough one as well, we had to work for it,” Albon said. “I’m really happy. I can breathe. It feels nice to be here.
“We’ve been good in the last sector all weekend and that’s really important for a circuit where there’s only one place to overtake and that’s Turn 1. The Renaults are quick down the straights so I didn’t catch him as quick as I thought I would, and it was kind of like a last-minute dive on the outside. Of course, I was a little worried, but I left enough space and Daniel gave me enough room and I went past.”
The British-Thai driver said it wasn’t an easy result to achieve after struggling on the race resumptions, dropping to seventh on the second standing start.
“It was nice to finally get that podium. Obviously under the circumstances as well it was a tricky race. We weren’t very good off the line, so a lot of the overtakes had to be on the track and that made it exciting. We had a really good car today and fortunately we were able to extract it and do the overtakes when we needed to.”