Alexander Albon admits he lost “a little bit” of confidence following a brush with the barriers during second practice for Formula 1’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The new Red Bull recruit locked up and hit the tyre barriers at Turn 10 during FP2, destroying the front wing on his RB15 and forcing him to return to the garage for repairs.

Albon re-emerged for the closing stages of the session and ended up setting the fifth-fastest time, albeit over a second down on teammate Max Verstappen.

“I had a lock up on the lap before and I had a little flatspot. On top of that I was pushing and just another lock up in the same kind spot of tyre as the previous lap,” Albon explained.

When asked if the crash had knocked his confidence, the British born Thai driver replied: “A little bit, yeah. To do the lap afterwards wasn’t too actually bad I was expecting worse but yeah.”

This weekend’s race is Albon’s first-ever experience of driving around the Marina Bay Street Circuit and he has quickly learned that there is no room for errors.

“It’s just about hooking up the lap really,” he said.

“It’s so technical that if you make one mistake the lap is over. So no mistakes, clean driving, but at the same time you have to push to the walls.

“I’m still not quite confident with it but I’m sure by qualifying it will be easier.”

Verstappen enjoyed an encouraging day in the sister Red Bull car as he topped opening practice, before finishing just 0.184s behind FP2 leader Lewis Hamilton in more representative conditions.

The Dutchman had his final qualifying simulation run on the Soft tyres hampered by traffic in the final sector of the lap, and is confident Red Bull can challenge Mercedes for pole in qualifying on Saturday.

“I had three or four cars to get by so that is why my last sector was not good,” he explained.

“I only improved around two tenths compared to my hard tyre, so I think we look very strong but of course also Lewis looks very strong.

“We are competitive, so I’m happy with the day in short and long runs.”

 

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