Just three races ago at Interlagos an optimistic move in the closing stages of the GP saw Lewis Hamilton sending spinning the first podium of Alex Albon’s career. The #23, after immediate apologies from the world champion, admitted to have left the door a bit too open and despite the disappointment he accepted the result.
We can’t quite say the same today: on lap 61 of the Austrian GP the two drivers found themselves in the opposite roles. Albon attempted a bold move on Hamilton to take P2 and possibly challenge race-leader Valtteri Bottas. But when the pair came out of turn 4 the two cars came together and the Red Bull was spun on the gravel, as Alex powerlessly watched the whole pack storming through.
His #23 marked Red Bull would eventually give up to engine issues later in the race, but damage was already done: for the second time Albon had to postpone his first F1 podium celebrations.
”The contact with Lewis was so late in the corner that it surprised me. I was right on the edge of the track and I knew if I gave him all the space I could it would be up to him if he wants to crash or not” Albon stated in the evening. And he immediately recalled the Brazilian skirmish as well: "This time I was the one on the attack and he was defending. I wouldn’t say this one hurts more than Brazil but that incident was maybe 50/50 whereas this one isn’t. Obviously we’ve got next weekend to focus on now, we’ll need a bit of luck to have the same opportunity as today, but let’s see”.
On the other half of the crash, Lewis Hamilton was handed with a five second time penalty that dropped him from P2 to P4 at the checkered flag. The Mercedes’ driver was of course less disappointed by the outcome, nevertheless he didn’t seem willing to take again full blame for the incident: “I think I’ve had the best race I could, still it was a shame what happened between me and Alex [Albon]. It’s unbelievable we came together for the second time, but I think this time it was a racing incident. Nevertheless I accept the penalty I was handed and I will just try to focus on the next race”.