Red Bull F1 got their first points of the 2020 Formula 1 season as Max Verstappen and Alex Albon scored top 4 finishes at the sport’s second Austrian race.
Verstappen finished in third at the Styrian Grand Prix, named after the local region of Austria where the race track is located, while Albon resisted a late move by Sergio Perez to finish 4th.
This is in stark contract to the season opener at the same track a week earlier, where both cars broke down with technical failures.
Verstappen had qualified second in an eventful and wet qualifying session and held that position for a lot of the afternoon, but with front wing damage and old tyres, he was reeled in and eventually passed by Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages.
Speaking after the race, Verstappen said they got a good result but now needed to push and improve.
He said, “Today we maximised the result with the podium and it’s of course good to be back up there, but we were just too slow to really fight for the win. I pushed as hard as I could and tried everything to stay with Lewis but it just wasn’t possible. We have work to do and we will keep pushing as hard as we can to improve and I know how hard everyone is working.
“For me, it wasn’t the most exciting race up until I had a lap of fighting with Valtteri. My tyres were pretty dead at that point and I knew he was going to pass me, but I wasn’t going to make it easy and had a bit of fun re-passing him around the outside. I had nothing to lose as there was such a big gap behind so there was no risk. P3 is of course good points but it’s still not what we want, we want to fight for victories every weekend, so I hope Hungary is better for us.”
Albon’s 4th place equalled his best F1 finish, recorded at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. The Brit-Thai driver had managed to get past the McLaren and Renault cars that qualified ahead of him in the early stages, but then failed to match the pace of the top 3.
At the end, he was caught by Perez, but the Racing Point sustained front wing damage after making contact with Albon’s car, allowing him to scoot away and book his 4th place finish. However, he admitted disappointment he couldn’t maximise race pace.
He said, “The race was ok and P4 is a good amount of points for the Team, especially after last week’s DNF, so we definitely needed that. On my side, I was fighting a bit further back than I would have liked and my race pace wasn’t amazing. There’s time to find on my side but we’ve understood the car better this week and I think we know where to improve. With the long straights and types of corner here we struggled a little but I think Max and I both agree on where we can improve the car.
“Towards the end of the race, Perez was very quick. On the last lap he had a decent run on me into turn four but I left him enough space. I think he ran a bit wide and we touched but we avoided a crash so it was ok and just hard racing. We’ve got a week now until Hungary to see what we can do.”