Alexander Albon admits he’s ‘a bit confused’ by the 1.1s gap to Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in Formula 1 qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

Albon could only manage P10 in qualifying in Sochi, while Verstappen is set to start the race from second having split the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

When asked about his performance in qualifying, Albon wasn’t too displeased by his efforts as he felt “the laps didn’t feel terrible”.

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“I’m not too sure to be honest, just trying to look at it right now,” Albon said. “It didn’t feel terrible in Q1 and Q2, and it just seemed like people around made a jump. I didn’t really have it, didn’t feel like I had much left to be honest.

“A bit of head-scratching going because the laps didn’t feel terrible. Of course, there are still a couple of tenths to find here and there, but obviously the gap is quite big. So a bit confusing and some work to do.”

With the Thai driver set to start the race on the less durable soft tyres, Albon admits preserving the red-marked tyre will be a challenge.

“Tyre choices, soft is going to be quite hard in the race I imagine,” Albon added. “I’m pretty sure everyone will one-stop. It just makes the soft that much harder to try and make it to last in the first stint. 

“In terms of grip level, for me it was quite… track evolution stopped at around Q2, not sure if that was the same for everyone else. Can’t really comment about how it was.”