Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Alex Albon could have contended for a spot on the podium in the Eifel GP but for a retirement caused by a pierced radiator.
Albon was running sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo when tyre vibrations due to a lock-up on the opening lap forced the Red Bull charger to pit early on lap 8.
Albon moved swiftly through the field and into the points thereafter despite a contact with AlphaTauri’s Dany Kvyat that warranted a five-second time penalty.
But on lap 23, the Red Bull charger was unexpectedly called into the pits where the team retired the car, much to Albon’s surprise.
“He had a big lock-up into Turn Three on the opening lap,” said Horner. “And our concern was that he had gone pretty much through to the canvas. We were seeing vibrations increasing to the point that it was past our threshold.
“So from a safety point of view, we had to pit him at that point.
“He then started to make good progress back through the field, but was very unlucky in that he picked up some debris that has pierced the radiator on the cooling circuit, and we just saw our temperatures starting to go sky high.
“Before losing an engine it seemed we had no choice but to stop the car.
“It was a shame in the race, I think he would have been racing [Sergio] Perez and [Daniel] Ricciardo even with that flat spot and early stop. It was a shame for him not to see that come to fruition today, because he’s had a pretty sensible weekend.
“So I think it’s a shame that he didn’t get a result out of today, because I think there was more to come.”
Read also: ‘Second is where we belonged today’ – Verstappen
A frustrated Albon agreed with his team boss that he could “have done something” without his lockup on lap 1 that undermined his afternoon.
“We wouldn’t have boxed if there was no issue,” he said. “Obviously, we had the lock up in lap one. So just compromised the race really. It was a bit of a shame, obviously the car is quick.
“Without having this issue we could have done something. We were pretty slow with the flat spot, so I’m sure there was pace in the car there.”
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