Alex Albon is hoping to be a “thorn in Mercedes’ backside” after qualifying a career-best fourth place at Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Albon recovered from a huge crash in second practice on Friday to take fourth, just one position behind his teammate Max Verstappen as Red Bull locked out the second row on the Sakhir grid.

It marked the joint-best qualifying result of Albon’s F1 career and his highest starting position since the Tuscan Grand Prix in September. The performance was timely too, with the Thai racer looking to secure his seat at Red Bull for next season.

“Obviously coming from where we were 24 hours ago it’s a good result,” Albon said.

“I still would have liked to be a bit closer up there, but P4 obviously we’re in the mix and hopefully we can have a good start and be in there, being a thorn in Mercedes’ backside.

“Truthfully speaking, FP1 was pretty decent, and FP3 was pretty decent, so fourth didn’t seem unrealistic,” he added.

“It felt like something which I was thinking was definitely achievable before qualifying. Of course it was nice to have it, and the car has been feeling good this weekend, especially since today really, it’s kind of clicked a bit more.”

Albon praised the quality of his Red Bull crew after the team was forced to change the chassis on his car due to the level of damage sustained in his FP2 accident.

“Especially in a team like Red Bull, the quality is really high, and you’re not going to get big differences,” Albon explained.

“At least on my side, nothing. Of course it’s more just set-up and feeling, and on top of that confidence. But truthfully, on the confidence side, I was quite happy with it.

“It was a silly mistake to begin with yesterday, so I knew that I could put it behind me pretty quickly and focus on today.”

Explaining his mindset following his shunt, Albon said there was simply “no point dwelling on it”.

“On my side, it’s just you’ve got to own up to a mistake, and more just about putting it behind you really,” he said.

“You apologise but at the same time you’re focused on the next day. OK we had the crash, but you don’t really think about that, or you don’t focus on that part.

“You think about how the car was before, and what areas do we need to work on so we can hit FP3 running. That’s kind of the mindset.

“There’s no point dwelling on it or regretting or thinking you could have done this or that, because that’s not very helpful.”

 

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