Albon complains about track limits after crossing the line in qualifying

Imola (Italy) (AFP) –


A frustrated Alex Albon advised officials to "just put some gravel down" to define track limits after having eight laps deleted at Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix practice and qualifying on Saturday.

In a topsy-turvy qualifying session, the under-pressure London-born Thai driver grabbed sixth place on the grid with a last-gasp lap on soft tyres after his first run on mediums was disallowed.

"Honestly, I don't know why we're changing different corners and different track limits," said Albon, when asked about his problems. "Just put gravel and we'll be fine."

Albon went into the session knowing that he had to 'up his game' to retain his Red Bull seat next year and emerged with his calm demeanour intact despite the difficulties.

"It was OK," he said. "Actually, through qualifying, I felt I was just getting better and better.

"Obviously I had that lap deleted in Q3. It's that thing where you're in your head and you've got to put it behind you and just focus on the next run, but at the same time, you know that you want to do a lap as well."

He added that he expected people to say drivers should respect the track limits, but, he said, "we're pushing out there, and these cars are so well built that, for us, there is basically no risk or punishment for going too wide.

"It's just pure lap time. The more you can get close to that white line you'll just go faster and faster."

Albon has been driving with the threat of losing his job hanging over him for most of the season, having failed to beat team-mate Max Verstappen in any qualifying session.

He is eighth in the championship with 98 points, five places below the Dutchman, and admitted he has been through a roller-coaster season.

"It's been a bit of an up and down year so far," he said. "I'd say it has all happened quickly and it's been a fast journey.

"I'm learning my own way, but also learning the cars, as well, which has been pretty challenging."

He said he had not felt any negativity within the Red Bull team.

"It's all open, everything is there free on the table and, more than anything, I think there's no intra-team political stuff going on, which is all positive."