Albon back in Q3 as rookie secures best qualifying result of the season
There is no better time to grab your best qualifying result of the season than in front of your home fans, and Alexander Albon did just that on Saturday. Though he races for Thailand, the Toro Rosso rookie was born and raised in London, and in front of full grandstands at Silverstone he secured only his second Q3 appearance of the season en-route to ninth on the grid.
“I’m happy with that!” said a delighted Albon, who outpaced team mate Daniil Kvyat by 0.4s. “We’ve always been in the top 10 this weekend but we knew the others would turn it up in qualifying. Our balance just got better and better through the weekend and it came together. After a tough couple of races, it’s really good to be back in Q3.”
Albon’s quickest lap came in the dying moments of the session as he pipped Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg by under one tenth of a second. Silverstone has recently been a happy hunting ground for the Thai driver who grabbed victories at the historic circuit in Formula 2 and GP3.
After a tough couple of races, it's really good to be back in Q3
“I’m really happy with the car and I love this track," said Albon. “The car has been feeling good all weekend and when the track started to get more grip, I felt more comfortable and was able to get more performance from the car.”
An upturn in qualifying form since Canada means Albon has now outqualified his team mate at each of the last three race weekends. Daniil Kvyat struggled to his third consecutive Q1 elimination of the season and will start Sunday’s British Grand Prix from P17.
Toro Rosso Technical Director, Jody Eggington, said: “Whilst we are pleased with this result, we also need to understand what was preventing Dany from extracting the best from his car in qualifying, as up to this point he had shown good pace.”
The result also means Honda saw three of its cars qualify in the top 10 for the first time since Monaco - Albon's last Q3 appearance - as Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly qualified P4 and P5.