Daniil Kvyat was not impressed by Alexander Albon’s Red Bull debut at Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix, having spent much of the race ahead of his former Toro Rosso teammate.

Albon impressed Red Bull on his first competitive outing for the Milton Keynes squad at Spa, as he recorded his best finish to date in F1 with a strong run to fifth, having started 17th on the grid following an engine-related penalty.

But former teammate Kyvat, who was overlooked as a potential replacement for the underperforming Pierre Gasly, believes Albon’s drive was not as impressive as it appeared, having spent 36 laps ahead of the British-Thai driver despite starting behind him.

“I don’t know why you call it such a good start,” Kvyat said.

“He spent 36 laps behind me in a Red Bull Racing car, and he started in front of me as well. I don’t know, maybe in the future he will do better.

“I don’t know [if it should have been better], I’m just commenting on what I saw. Maybe it was the maximum, probably it was the maximum that the car could achieve that day.

“But the fact that we were fighting and I held up a Red Bull car for most of the race in Spa - where the car really matters a lot - behind me, it was a very pleasing race for me to be honest.”

Asked if he is paying close attention to Albon’s progress at Red Bull, Kvyat replied: “Normally I don’t but I had to because we were fighting the whole race in Spa.

“If he had stayed at Toro Rosso then yeah it would have been an amazing race for him, but he was in a Red Bull, so…”

And Kvyat believes Albon will face a great challenge going up against Max Verstappen in the remaining eight rounds of 2019.

“I think it’s not easy always, especially when the driver has high confidence and the car suits him, it’s definitely not easy to outperform him consistently,” he explained.

“But for sure the cars between team-mates are usually very similar and it means the chances are likely to be very similar in terms of what you can achieve from that car.

“It’s difficult to say for me. I don’t know how Max is as a driver to be honest, I’ve never been team-mates with hm so I don’t know how to judge him exactly. But he looks in very good shape, that’s for sure.”

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