Albon knows turn one in Baku can be "absolute mess" for drivers

19-04-2019 09:50
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Albon knows turn one in Baku can be absolute mess for drivers

Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon knows all too well how messy it can get at turn one of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as the 23-year-old was the winner of the first-ever Formula 2 featured race there.

The British-born Thai driver earned Driver of the Day last time out in China, impressively finishing 10th after starting in last place after failing to qualify because of his massive FP3 shunt.

Albon received a lot of praise for his drive in Shanghai but has been impressive all together in F1 this season, scoring points in two of the three races. 

Previewing the upcoming Grand Prix in Baku, Albon looked back on his F2 win there fondly.

"I’ve raced in Baku in Formula 2, in fact I won the first ever featured race there, the one with all of the crashes," he reminisced.

"I got pole and I kept out of trouble, even though a bad pit stop saw me drop down to third and then we were three abreast going into Turn 1.

"We all went straight on, but I went less straight on than the other two, found myself second but managed to get past for the win. It’s a nice memory, when we’re about to go there! 

That same Turn 1, where he went three wide in F2, is the main focus for Albon, as he knows how tricky the corner can be, especially in Formula 1.

"The track is very unusual and with the very long main straight down to Turn 1, your tyres can be cold, it can be an absolute mess there – we’ve seen when there have been restarts!

"You get a multiple slipstream effect on cold tyres, with cold brakes, everyone going into that first turn. Therefore, you have to keep your nose clean and be very precise.

In terms of predictions, Albon aims high - particularly in qualifying.

"The track is a bit like Monaco in the sense that you can put it on the line a little bit more, especially in qualifying when you really push it over the kerbs and brush the walls of the castle. I enjoy it.

"Our car has been quick enough at all three races for both of us to be in Q3 and we haven’t managed that yet. That should be our goal for qualifying.”

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