Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Alex Albon’s first Formula 1 podium at the Tuscan Grand Prix will give him a much-needed confidence boost.

The Thai driver bounced back from finishing out of the points at the Italian Grand Prix to score a long-awaited maiden podium during an incident-packed race on F1’s first competitive visit to Mugello.

Albon was taken out of podium contention in clashes with Lewis Hamilton at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix and again at the opening round of the 2020 season in Austria, but finally delivered a top-three appearance in Tuscany.

Horner conceded that being “too nice” can sometimes disadvantage Albon, but the Red Bull chief believes his driver will now go from strength to strength in the remainder of the campaign.

"The disadvantage is, if anything, he is too nice," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"But once he puts the helmet on you can see there is a real racer there.

"There is a big difference between thinking you can do it and knowing you can do it.

"This podium for him will give him a boost of confidence and self-belief. I think he really will build from here quite nicely."

Albon has endured a difficult start to the season in which he has struggled to match the level of performance of his teammate Max Verstappen, while the driver he replaced at Red Bull, Pierre Gasly, has enjoyed a run of outstanding form that including picking up a shock victory for the AlphaTauri sister squad at Monza.

Horner reckons Albon has been struggling with the same handling issues which also hampered Gasly during his Red Bull stint but is confident his strong feedback will ultimately benefit him.

"I think actually his feedback is very, very good," Horner explained.

"He has a really good sensitivity for the car and I think he has really won the respect of the engineers for that, so as that starts to come through, the developments that start to come through, I think that will only help him.

"Hopefully some of this instability of the rear that we have been having, which affects him and in fact Pierre last year, that Max isn't really affected by, I think it will start to come his way a bit."

 

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