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Red Bull Racing driver Alex Albon eyes up season best finish in battle with Carlos Sainz Jr ahead of F1 finale in Abu Dhabi





Alex Albon will head into this weekend’s final race knowing if he can overturn a five-point gap on Carlos Sainz Jr he will achieve a career best Formula One season finish.

The Bures-raised driver produced an excellent drive at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Dubai as he battled from 12th at the start to sixth at the chequered flag for eight more championship points.

It saw the Red Bull Racing driver overtake McLaren’s Lando Norris to move into eighth place in the World Drivers’ Championship standings ahead of this weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi.

Alex Albon is looking to finish one place up in the Drivers' Championship to record a best ever F1 finish, heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi Picture: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Alex Albon is looking to finish one place up in the Drivers' Championship to record a best ever F1 finish, heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi Picture: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Former Nayland and Ipswich schoolboy Albon will certainly be looking for a strong finish at the Yas Marina circuit to better his debut-season ending eighth place.

But he will have to have to finish in front of the McLaren of Sainz Jr, who finished fourth last time out, in at least seventh to have a chance of overturning the five-point deficit to move up a place.

At the same time, Norris, in the other McLaren, just needs to overturn a six-point gap to Albon to see the 24-year-old fail to match last season’s standings finish.

Alex Albon of Red Bull Racing leads eventual race winner Sergio Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Dubai Picture: Getty Images/Red Bull content pool (43433698)
Alex Albon of Red Bull Racing leads eventual race winner Sergio Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Dubai Picture: Getty Images/Red Bull content pool (43433698)

Reflecting on the weekend’s race in Dubai, which saw his team-mate Max Verstappen crash out on the first lap and Lewis Hamilton’s stand-in George Russell denied the win in heatbreaking fashion, he said: “It was a very strange and scrappy race and I’m not really sure how it all unfolded but climbing from 12th to sixth isn’t too bad but we hoped for more today.

“We expected to be slow on the straights and we only just about to managed to stay with the other cars when we had DRS but it was so hard to overtake and I was having to dive bomb into turn one to get the moves made.

“It was very hard to race with the configuration of downforce we had, and we were quick in parts of the track like sector two where you just can’t overtake.

“Now it’s full focus on Abu Dhabi in a few days’ time.”

Red Bull Racing’s team principle, Christian Horner, said: “Alex survived contact in the opening lap but struggled for pace in the initial stint.

“He pitted for the hard tyre which he seemed more comfortable on and we then took a bit of a risk under the last safety car to put the soft tyre on which he used to good effect to move up to P6.

“It was an entertaining race for the fans at home and congratulations to Racing Point and Sergio Perez for their first victories in Formula One.”

Alex Albon takes a pit stop at the Sakhir Grand Prix Picture: Getty Images/Red Bull content pool (43433684)
Alex Albon takes a pit stop at the Sakhir Grand Prix Picture: Getty Images/Red Bull content pool (43433684)

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