Red Bull Racing driver Alex Albon's race at Italian Grand Prix ruined by opening lap time penalty
Alex Albon was left cursing a crash on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix as he endured his worst finish of the Formula 1 2020 season, bringing his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing car home in 15th position.
The Bures-raised driver, who had qualified ninth, was served a five-second penalty for his part in the incident at Monza, which dropped him to the back of the grid.
The driver he had been elevated to replace at Red Bull, Pierre Gasly, took victory in their development team’s AlphaTauri car.
“That wasn’t a fun race and P15 clearly isn’t reflective of our true package,” said former Nayland and Ipswich schoolboy Albon.
“We had a lot of damage with the left side of the floor missing after contact in Turn 1 and then with the time penalty our race was basically over. We had no grip and lost a load of downforce so it was a long race where we were just limping to the end.
"It’s been a tough weekend for us as a team which we thought it could be and then with the circumstances today it’s just made it a lot harder.
"It’s obviously a much better day for AlphaTauri so we’re happy for those guys but for us, we need to put our heads down and focus on Mugello in a week’s time.”
Brit Lando Norris' fourth place finish for McLaren saw the former Ipswich School pupil drop to sixth in the overall drivers' standings, with 48 points from Norris' 57.
Things went even worse for Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen whose car issues forced the Dutchman to retire from the race on lap 30.
Red Bull's team principle Christian Horner said: “Firstly, I want to congratulate everyone at AlphaTauri, especially Franz, Pierre and Honda who achieved something great today to take victory here at Monza.
"Our challenging weekend continued into the race with Max initially bogging down at the start and finding himself in a DRS train which is almost impossible to break around this track.
"Alex suffered damage from contact at Turn 1 which he also incurred an arguably harsh five second time penalty for, putting him to the back of the field before the safety car re-start.
"At the re-start Max suffered an engine issue which we were unable to overcome, forcing him to retire on lap 30.
"The damage to Alex’s floor from the early race contact was significant and he was losing around a second a lap throughout the race, resulting in him finishing P15.
"Certainly not our finest weekend but we will re-convene and work hard to ensure that we are back where we belong next weekend in Mugello.”
The upcoming weekend's race in Mugello, also in Italy, is being called the Toscana Grand Prix.