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Albon reveals turning point in Red Bull debut

Albon reveals turning point in Red Bull debut

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Albon reveals turning point in Red Bull debut

Albon reveals turning point in Red Bull debut

Alexander Albon said a switch to soft tyres was the crucial factor as he carved through the Belgian Grand Prix field to secure a career-best result on his Red Bull debut.

Albon finished fifth from 17th on the grid at Spa-Francorchamps, having replaced Pierre Gasly over the summer break.

With Max Verstappen crashing out on lap one, Albon was the lead Red Bull in the race, despite starting so low down the order.

After a frustrating stint spent stuck mostly behind Nico Hulkenberg, Albon "came alive" after his pit-stop and pulled off the overtake of the race on Daniel Ricciardo at the previously unchristened Jacky Ickx corner.

"I feel like I really struggled in the first half of the race," Albon told Sky Sports. "Struggled with the tyres, firstly to get them up to temperature; and then that whole stint on the mediums, I was really nowhere.

"I was expecting to overtake a lot of cars and I just didn't!

"So we decided to pit a bit earlier, went onto the soft tyres and suddenly I felt a lot more comfortable with the car and came alive really so I had some good battles along the way.

"It was a bit hard because everyone was so close together we kind of had a DRS train. The fresh tyres, always nice. I wouldn't say it's easy, but…"

Albon took fifth place ahead of Sergio Perez thanks to a late-race pass on the Mexican which followed a bizarre moment in which both drivers tried to come around the final corner behind the other, in order to secure DRS down the Kemmel Straight.

"We were playing the DRS game," Albon laughed. "Obviously Sergio wants DRS and it's like a VSC restart.

"The Racing Points were so quick down the straight all weekend so I just had to… 'after you, no after you'."

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