Christian Horner believes that Alexander Albon can leave the Brazilian Grand Prix with pride despite having a podium finish stolen away at the last minute thanks to a collision with Lewis Hamilton, which the Red Bull boss describes as a “huge shame”.
Albon hasn’t finished in the top three in his career as of yet, but seemed poised for his maiden podium at Interlagos, only for a nick from Lewis Hamilton to send him down to 14th as late as the penultimate lap.
The Mercedes man immediately admitted responsibility and apologised for the incident, but Horner thinks it is still unfortunate for Albon after putting in such an impressive performance.
“He looked really comfortable racing world champions and it was a huge shame for him to lose that podium on the penultimate lap,” Horner said of Albon.
"Lewis has obviously put his hand up and apologised but unfortunately it doesn’t get Alex’s podium back, but he can leave here with his head held high.
“OK, he didn’t get the trophy but he’s impressed the whole team with his performance and again, it’s an encouraging signal for next year.”
Albon started the 2019 F1 campaign with Toro Rosso, but was handed a promotion to Red Bull to replace the underperforming Pierre Gasly (who ended up finishing second in Brazil). It was recently announced that he would remain as Max Verstappen’s partner for 2020, and Horner reckons his improvement behind the wheel is there for all to see.
“I think it’s very clear for everyone to see,” the Red Bull boss added.
"He’s now racing wheel-to-wheel with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel and Ferraris and he’s making great progress. He’s impressed his whole team with his race craft.”
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