Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver earns maiden podium at dramatic Tuscan GP.
Alex Albon became the first Thai driver to stand on a Formula One podium after he swept past Daniel Ricciardo late on to finish third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday.
The race saw Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen and last week’s winner Pierre Gasly crash out on the first lap, then two red flags mix the order up before Albon held his nerve late on to the joy of the garage as Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Russian driver Daniil Kvyat ended in an impressive seventh.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
ALEX ALBON – 3rd
“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. 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.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN – DNF
“I am of course very disappointed as I know this could have been a really good race for us. I had a good launch at the start of the race and went around Lewis but then the car just didn’t accelerate so I lost a lot of speed and had no power. I then dropped back into the midfield and got hit from behind. When you drop into the middle of the pack in the first few corners like that it’s quite easy to get involved in a crash so I’m not disappointed about that, we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. There isn’t much more to say but it is just really disappointing for the Team that we had to retire again, especially when we looked so competitive but it is of course good to see Alex maximise the result and get on the podium.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal
“A bittersweet day but it’s fantastic to see Alex take his first F1 podium. 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. 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. Unfortunately, Max was unable to show us what he had today after such a promising qualifying and positive feeling ahead of the race. He did the hard bit with a great initial launch and was alongside Lewis, but then he experienced a loss of power which caused him to drop into the middle of the pack where he was hit from behind, ending his race in the gravel. It is enormously disappointing for him because he was really up for it today and you could see we had a good overall package. The issue is being looked into by Honda and the Team in order to ensure this does not happen again.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
DANIIL KVYAT – 7th
“It was a very difficult race today, both physically and mentally, so I think we can quite proudly say as a team we didn’t make any mistakes, which is great. It was important for us to get some good points, so I’m happy with the result and I’m pleased with my driving. The team did a great job in difficult circumstances during the two red flags, and our strategy calls today were the right choices. There was a lot of mess behind us, but in front it was quite stable, so P7 was a very good result and we took some more points to close the gap in the championship.”
PIERRE GASLY – DNF
“It’s a shame to finish the race just after the first corner. It was quite messy coming into Turn 1 with so many cars side by side. I saw some space between Kimi and Romain in Turn 2, I ended up in the middle and had nowhere to go, so we collided and that was pretty much it. I don’t think there is anyone to blame, but it’s a shame as I feel like we missed an opportunity for points today. We showed good pace all weekend and, even if we didn’t have a great qualifying, I was confident we could recover today. Obviously, I would have liked to have been out there with the guys and fight for points, but I think we need to take the positives here because the performance so far has been good, so we need to carry this to Sochi.”
JODY EGGINTON – Technical Director
“An eventful race! Pierre was caught up in the opening lap incident, which unfortunately put him out of the race before it had a chance to get going for him. It’s a shame as, although he qualified out of position, he would have likely moved forward in the race, potentially into a points-scoring position. Daniil avoided the fuss at the start and then got his head down and settled into the race, focusing on managing his tyres and pushing when required, keeping himself in position and in contention for points all race. The team and driver navigated the two red flags well and were deservedly rewarded with some good points today.”
FRANZ TOST – Team Principal
“It was a very exciting race with a lot of entertainment, which is what the fans like so they must be happy today. Two red flags are very rare in Formula 1 and, unfortunately, we were involved in the first of the incidents, when Pierre was caught in a sandwich between Grosjean and Raikkonen. Because of this, the car was quite heavily damaged, and he wasn’t able to continue. However, Pierre was OK after the crash, and that’s the most important thing. Following the victory in Monza, luck wasn’t on Pierre’s side this weekend in Mugello, neither in qualifying nor the race. We know how good Pierre is, and I’m convinced at the next race in Russia he will start from zero and bounce back. Daniil did a very good job today, he managed to avoid the chaos at the first start and ended the first lap in ninth position before the first red flag. He had another good start and moved up into P7, which is where he finished the race. It was a very good drive from him, showing a fantastic performance. Our original strategy for Daniil was a one-stop starting on the Prime tyre, then moving to the Option but due to the red flags, we decided to change it and sent him out on the Option tyre after each restart, which helped us improve the performance of the car. We added a few more points to our tally and we’ll try to continue doing so in Russia.”