Alexander Albon could have contended for the podium at Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix, according to Red Bull chief Christian Horner, who feels his penalty was “on the harsh side.”
Albon endured a troubled race at the Nürburgring as a tardy start was followed by a lock-up that necessitated an earlier than planned pit stop.
Albon was working his way through the field when he clashed with AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat exiting the chicane, a move that the Russian labelled “unprofessional.”
Stewards deemed that Albon was culpable for the collision and issued a five-second time penalty that was ultimately not served due to a punctured radiator.
Albon slipped to seventh in the championship as a consequence of his first retirement of the campaign.
“He had a big flat spot and we could see the vibrations reaching a critical level,” said Horner on Albon’s strategy.
“Then he was making good progress back through the field and was running ahead of [Charles] Leclerc and those guys.
“I think he would have been racing Daniel [Ricciardo] and Sergio [Perez] with the progress he was making.
“[His retirement] was a stone that holed a radiator, just very, very unlucky.
“It was a shame not to see that come to fruition as he’s had a sensible weekend, was almost on the second row of the grid, was a lot closer to his team-mate than he was in Russia, I think there was more to come.”
Speaking about the clash, Horner added: “The penalty felt a bit harsh to me. Daniil had been off the track, re-joined, it felt a bit on the harsh side.”