'Impressive' Albon equals F1 best in Sochi

Sochi (Russia) (AFP) –


Alex Albon was described as "impressive" after equalling his best result on Sunday when he finished fifth after starting from the pit lane at the Russian Grand Prix.

The London-born Thai racer, in only his fourth outing with Red Bull and still in his rookie season, made a series of thrilling passing moves as he went through the field.

"I wanted to bounce back with a good result after crashing in qualifying yesterday (Saturday)," he said.

"So I am really happy with how the race went although we were probably a little lucky with the Safety Car.

"I caused a lot of work for the team on Saturday night and morale was a bit low, so this result is for them. Starting from the pit lane was never going to be easy -? so it is a good haul of points."

In four outings since switching from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to replace Pierre Gasly, Albon, 23, has finished fifth, sixth, sixth and fifth again, despite being new to the team and the car.

Team boss Christian Horner said: "We had good performances from both drivers with Max (Verstappen) taking P4, having started P9. Alex performed well to make his way though and he made some great overtakes in another very mature drive.

"To finish P5 was an impressive race from him and, overall, fourth and fifth was probably the maximum achievable for the team today."

The mild-mannered and softly-spoken Albon, who won at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Formula Two last year, showed his class with clean and decisive moves to pass several more experienced rivals.

"I like boring races, too," he said afterwards.

"So, I'm hoping for a cleaner and smoother weekend next time out in Japan!"