Alexander Albon was pleased his Chinese Grand Prix recovery drive from the pitlane saw him voted as Formula 1’s ‘driver of the day’ after being the “worst driver” of Saturday.

The Toro Rosso rookie suffered a huge crash in final practice that resulted in him missing qualifying and starting from the Shanghai pitlane due to a chassis change.

Albon turned in an impressive charge through the field on a one-stop strategy and held off Haas driver Romain Grosjean in the closing stages to secure 10th place and his second consecutive points finish.

“Honestly when you are in the car you have no idea what is going on,” Albon recalled when asked about being named F1’s ‘driver of the day’. “I just drive around and the team told me ‘you are P10 and Grosjean is coming behind you and you need to defend’, that’s it.

“I finished the race, got told I got driver of the day. I was like ‘OK thank you’ but it didn’t feel like an amazing [performance]. I did start last but it wasn’t like a crazy race.

“So, I’m happy to get driver of the day. I would say that on Saturday I was maybe the worst driver of the day, so it was nice to get come back strong on Sunday.”

The British-born Thai racer admitted to feeling “nervy” late on as he battled to stay ahead of Grosjean on tyres that had “completely gone” with 10 laps to go.

“The last few laps were a bit nerve-racking but I’m really happy with the result,” Albon added. “Particularly after FP3, it was a bit of a disappointment because I think we deserved to really fight for Q3 in qualifying.

“He [Grosjean] definitely had strong pace towards the end of the race. I was surprised because I knew he was going to catch me, the team told me before that he would be on my tail with four laps to go - but following here really overheats your tyres.

“I found that out already when I was coming through the field. I knew it was going to be difficult for him, but I’m also thankful the blue flags coming.

“Coming from Saturday I was a little bit down but the guys did an amazing job to get the car ready. I knew we could get the car into the points and I knew it was not going to be easy. We had the car to do it and I’m really happy.”


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