Horner: This podium will be good for Alex


Christian Horner has paid tribute to Alex Albon after the Thai driver scored Red Bull's first podium result - other than Max Verstappen - since Daniel Ricciardo's win at Monaco in 2018.

"I was delighted to see Alex achieve his first F1 podium on Sunday," says Horner in his post-Mugello debrief.

"There has been quite a bit of external pressure on him this year, especially from the media," he continues, no doubt a reference to the Sky Sports team which regularly opines on Albon's various perceived shortcomings and how much better Pierre Gasly would be in the second seat.

"He is such a nice guy out of the car but he is mentally very strong and what impresses me is that he is always able to come back and put in a performance, especially on race day. After a bad Saturday, he's always brushed himself down and come back strong on Sunday.

"In the last three races he has started to make a lot of progress. Alex is a deep thinker and he works very hard. He is super analytical and very honest with his feedback.

"He is also a gritty racer and knows how to get his elbows out, which is one of the reasons he is a Red Bull driver. He has that never give up mentality and he keeps coming back even when the chips are down which we expect from our drivers.

"Look at his moves on Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez in Mugello that got him the podium. Daniel is one of the hardest racers and latest brakers on the grid, and that pass was for a podium and a tattoo for Cyril! So, there was no way that Daniel was going to give that up, and to pass him around the outside of Turn One showed great bravery and race-craft.

"The podium will be good for Alex," he concludes. "A big thing for all drivers is thinking you can do, it but it is only when you actually achieve a podium or a win that you think 'ok I can do this'. It is the realisation, and I really hope this opens the doors for him confidence wise and that he walks tall as he deserves his seat and his place in F1.

"He is also the first Thai driver to stand on the podium and the first from that side of the garage since Daniel won Monaco in 2018, so he has achieved something great for his car crew. He is very popular in the Team, he has gelled very well with everyone and we all want him to succeed."

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Published: 18/09/2020
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