Albon has 'confidence and direction' heading to Mexico

Alexander Albon (THA) Red Bull Racing RB15.
© XPB 

Red Bull driver Alexander Albon is feeling buoyed up after getting his best-ever F1 result in Suzuka, and intends to carry that success forward into Mexico.

Albon qualified for the Japanese Grand Prix with exactly the same time as his team mate Max Verstappen. And while he dropped two spots at the start, he soon battled his way back and finished in fourth place, while Verstappen retired after first lap contact with Charles Leclerc.

It's put the London-born Thai driver in high spirits and left him hungry for more as he seeks to overhaul Pierre Gasly - his predecessor at Red Bull - the drivers championship.

"After getting my best result of the season in Japan last week, I’ve got good confidence and direction heading to Mexico," he said in the team's race preview this week.

"Japan felt like my best weekend with the team, and we’re gelling more and more so I look forward to carrying that momentum into Mexico.

"Historically it’s been a good track for Red Bull, with pole position and a win there last year, so obviously that’s positive."

With just 17 Grand Prix races under his belt, Albon acknowledged that his lack of experience at a number of overseas tracks was perhaps his biggest obstacle at this stage of the season.

"Mexico and the US will be the last back to back races of the season and I can’t wait to get out there and check out both tracks.

"Like Suzuka, [the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez] will be another new track for me but this one looks a little more forgiving," he said.

"I’m really excited to drive in the infield section where all the fans are, as I’ve heard that’s pretty special."

Alexander Albon (THA) Red Bull Racing.

Meanwhile Albon has been basking in some well-earned praise for his recent outings, including from some people in the F1 paddock key to his future in the sport.

"Alex did an amazing job to match Max’s time [in qualifying," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "It was his first time here at Suzuka, a really tricky, drivers circuit."

Horner indicated that Albon was now favourite to stay with the team in 2020: "He’s certainly making a really good play for it. It’s his seat to lose in many respects and I think everything he’s done so far he’s done a super job.”

Even the team's motorsports consultant Dr Helmut Marko gave a thumbs-up to the 23-year-old's performance.

"Considering he was at Suzuka for the first time, he did a very good qualifying," he told Osterreich newspaper. "He is getting better."

But inevitably there was some criticism as well from Marko: "He has some speed to gain in the race, but he takes too long to get going."

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