Alexander Albon says a late call to the weighbridge triggered a tricky moment with a brake fire after Friday practice had finished but had quick-thinking Ferrari mechanics to thank for avoiding a bigger problem.

The Toro Rosso driver came into pit lane at the end of FP2 practicing a Virtual Safety Car situation, attempting to keep his brake and tyre temperatures up to mimic a race situation, but as he headed into the pits he was given a late order to have his car weighed by FIA officials.

With the FIA weighbridge situated at the pit entry, Albon quickly dived in but with no time to cool off his brakes a small fire ignited in his front-left wheel.

Fortunately for Albon, Ferrari mechanics were on hand after Sebastian Vettel needed wheeling back to the weighbridge having initially missed the weighbridge also because of a late call. With Albon’s brake fire sparking up right next to Vettel’s car the Ferrari mechanics used their cooling fans to control the fire before Toro Rosso mechanics could reach their driver.

“I just got called to the weighbridge. We just had the Virtual Safety Car run before that, so I was kind of treating it like a race, keeping my brakes really hot for if we were going to go green,” Albon explained.

“I wanted to push the pit entry to get more experience, because it’s not easy here with that left and braking into the pit lane.

“That bit I did fine, but then I got called to the scales and my brakes were a little bit hot already, so that didn’t do us any favours.

“And also we’re at the opposite side of the pit lane, so the Toro Rosso guys had to run. The Ferrari guys were very kind to keep our brakes a bit cooler!”

 

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CrashTV: 

Having avoided any lasting damage, Albon believes he can target Q3 in qualifying after ending Friday practice 12th fastest, once again ahead of experienced teammate Daniil Kvyat who struggled with an power unit issue, and within two-tenths of the top 10.

“I think it’s been reachable for us in Melbourne and Bahrain, and I think we can do it again in China,” he said. “Just a couple of things both times.

“It’s always tenths that we’ve been fighting. I think looking at the people around us we should be okay. It should be achievable.”

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