Red Bull star’s terrifying and expensive crash

Alex Albon accepted the blame on Saturday (AEDT) after his heavy and expensive crash during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix threatened to derail his future with Red Bull.

The London-born Thai driver, who has struggled this year to match the pace of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, said he knew he should have backed off when he ran wide at the final corner before careering off into the barriers.

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“It was just one of those things,” he said as he tried to make light of his crash, which wrecked most of his car.

“I should have pulled out of it really.

“I was a bit surprised by the lack of grip. And it was quite a difficult, awkward angle — it wasn’t fun.” His crash came midway through the floodlit second session at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir. The right side of his Red Bull car was severely damaged and both wheels were left hanging only by their tethers.

You can watch Albon’s heavy crash in the video player above

Alex Albon’s Red Bull has seen much better daysSource:Supplied

Albon, who is fighting to keep his seat in the team next year after being warned to ‘raise his game’, was lucky to escape injury.

He said he had been trying “a couple of things, that didn’t quite work out, but actually I felt I was just getting up to speed.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the crash was “frustrating” and that he expected the repair bill for the car to be “significant.”

“Thankfully, Alex is OK, that’s the main thing,” he added. “Obviously there’s a lot of superficial damage. The ‘monocoque’ looked ok, the engine looks OK and it’s not a race gearbox, but it’s certainly going to keep the guys busy tonight.”

Albon wound up 10th after the opening day’s practice which was led by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes ahead of Verstappen.

Despite leading the way, Hamilton was left venting after the second session came to an end over the Pirelli tyres.

Hamilton isn’t a fan of the new Pirelli wheels.Source:Getty Images

“Unfortunately, we’ve had the same tyre for two years. At the end of 2019, they brought a new tyre, which they normally do, and it was quite a bit worse so they said ‘OK, we’ll just keep the tyre from last year’.

“So they have had two years now to develop a better tyre and we’ve arrived at a tyre which is three kilos heavier and it is like a second worse in lap time.

“I know for the fans that doesn’t make too much of a difference, but, from a driver point of view, we are working with brands and partners who are at the forefront of technology and elevate it.

“If you are going back after two years of development, then I don’t know what is happening! It definitely doesn’t feel good out there and it is a worry.

“I definitely just prefer to stay on these tyres again. If that is the best they can do, which it clearly is, it would just be better to stay with this tyre.”

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX P2 TIMES

1) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:28.971

2) Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.347

3) Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.365

4) Sergio Perez (Racing Point) +0.432

5) Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +0.491

6) Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +0.580

7) Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.870

8) Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +0.900

9) Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) +0.929

10) Alexander Albon (Red Bull) +1.043

11) Esteban Ocon (Renault) +1.114

12) Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +1.139

13) Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +1.300

14) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.436

15) Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) +1.656

16) Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.878

17) Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1.957

18) Nicholas Latifi (Williams) +2.002

19) Romain Grosjean (Haas) +2.148

20) George Russell (Williams) +2.665

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