Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner insists Alex Albon had a “pretty sensible weekend” at the Eifel Grand Prix despite his struggles.

Albon immediately lost fifth place to Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault at the start and flat-spotted his tyres in an unsuccessful bid to get back ahead, ultimately forcing him into an unscheduled early pit stop.

The Thai racer was then penalised for causing a collision with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat while passing the Russian for 10th at the final corner in a clash which broke off Kvyat’s front wing.

In the end, Albon never served his penalty after a punctured radiator resulted in Red Bull retiring his car.

“We had a big lock-up into turn three on the opening lap and our concern was that he’d gone pretty much through to the canvas and we were seeing vibrations increasing to the point that it was past our threshold,” Horner said. “So from a safety point of view we had to pit him at that point.

“He then started to make good progress back through the field. But he was very unlucky in that he’s picked up some debris that pierced a radiator on the cooling circuit and we just saw our temperatures started to go sky-high. Before losing an engine, we had no choice but to stop the car.”

“It was a shame in the race,” he added. “I think he would have been racing Perez and Ricciardo even with that flat spot and the early stop. So it’s a shame for him not to see that come to fruition today because he’s had a pretty sensible weekend.

“He was almost on a second row of the grid, a few hundreds of a second off that, he was a lot closer to his teammate than he was in Russia. So I think it’s a shame that he didn’t get a result out of today because I think there was more to come.”

And Horner felt Albon’s 10-second time penalty for colliding with Kvyat was “harsh”.

“The penalty felt a bit harsh to me,” he explained. “Daniil had been off the track, rejoined, it felt a bit on the harsh side.”

 

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