Alexander Albon feels Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was to blame for their coming together in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Albon and Hamilton collided in the closing stages of Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring when Albon - who had switched onto a fresh set of Soft tyres during the final Safety Car period - attacked the six-times world champion around the outside of Turn 4.

The Red Bull driver looked to be marginally ahead on the outside line but the pair made contact with Hamilton tagging Albon’s right rear, sending him spinning off into the gravel in an incident which mirrored their clash at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

After being denied another shot at a maiden F1 podium, Albon said he could have won the race had the contact not occurred.

“I’m a bit fresh right now, so I’ve got to be careful what I say,” Albon said. “It is what it is, but I really felt like I could have won that race.

“Of course Mercedes had the outright pace today but the guys did a great job with strategy and honestly when I did the pitstop I didn’t really know what was going on.

“As soon as it all played out, it all looked really strong for us and I knew that the first five laps [after the restart] was when I was going to do the overtakes. I was confident and the car was feeling good at that stage of the race.

“I feel like this one… I felt like Brazil was a bit more like 50-50 but I felt with this one like I did the move already and I was kind of already focused on Bottas already. The contact was so late.

“There’s always a risk with overtaking on the outside but I gave as much space as I really could. I was right on the edge.

“I knew that as long as I gave the space I could give him, it’s up to him if he wants to crash or not.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also believes the blame for the accident lies firmly with Hamilton, who was handed a five-second time penalty which dropped him to fourth.

"This sport can be pretty brutal sometimes and it feels like today has been one of those days,” he told Sky Sports.

“Alex drove a great race - he didn’t deserve that. Five seconds doesn’t do anything for him but he could have won that race.

"Twice in three races. You’d start to think he has got something in for him. There was a very similar incident the other way round. Alex squeezed him but gave him enough room at the start of the race.”

Asked if Albon could have been more patient given he was on faster rubber, Horner replied: “You can say that but he got the job done.

“The pass was made, it wasn’t like it was on the entry or whatever so what overtake is safe at the end of the day? I doubt Lewis was going to wave him past.”

 

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