F2 Abu Dhabi: Tyre warm-up issue led to low grid spot, says Albon

Formula 2 title contender Alexander Albon believes he "didn't do a good job" of tyre warming during qualifying in Abu Dhabi, where polesitter George Russell increased his points lead

F2 Abu Dhabi: Tyre warm-up issue led to low grid spot, says Albon

Russell only needs to finish eighth in Saturday's feature race to take the title regardless of what Albon does thanks to taking the four bonus points for pole position.

Albon is now 41 points off the lead in the standings with 44 remaining over both of this weekend's races.

On his last-ditch flying lap, Albon locked up at Turn 7 and then had a moment at the sausage curb at the penultimate corner of the Yas Marina track, which ruined any chance he had of improving as others around him bettered their times.

"It was a messy lap," DAMS driver Albon told Autosport.

"I was happy with my first lap but there was still a bit of time to gain. I knew I had to get some back, but it was just bad warm-ups.

"Obviously, the Pirelli tyres have a small warm-up window, and I didn't do a good job of that [getting the tyres to the correct temperature]. I didn't get enough heat in the front tyres.

"From Turn 1, I said 'here we go', we had understeer and it was part of the reason for the lock-up as well. I knew it was going to be difficult after that."

Drivers are not given live tyre data in F2 as is the case in F1, and do not know the exact temperature of their tyres, which makes it difficult to get them into the correct window.

Albon confirmed that the rest of the weekend was going to be an uphill struggle, and any chance he has of usurping Russell will require a problem for the Williams F1-bound driver.

"My objective was always to focus on myself. P8 won't be easy [to close the gap].

"Let's be honest, as long as George doesn't do anything stupid he's got it [the F2 title] under wraps.

"Lando [Norris] and Nyck [de Vries] are still close behind so we need to watch that as well."

Norris is 13 points behind Albon in third in the standings, while Prema Racing's de Vries is 27 points back.

But both drivers start ahead of Albon for the feature race, with de Vries second on the grid and Carlin's Norris in seventh.

When asked whether he would have been able to match Russell's time if he had prepared the tyres properly, Albon said: "It would have been very difficult.

"There's a gap between George and P2, and maybe we could have slotted in there, but it would have been difficult. He was very good."

shares
comments
F2 Abu Dhabi: 2019 Williams driver Russell close to title with pole

Previous article

F2 Abu Dhabi: 2019 Williams driver Russell close to title with pole

Next article

Abu Dhabi F2: F1-bound Russell seals title with win, Albon stalls

Abu Dhabi F2: F1-bound Russell seals title with win, Albon stalls
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Drivers Alex Albon
Author Jack Benyon
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019
Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series Plus

Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series

After the MotoGP-style Formula 1 support ladder was fully united for 2019, Bruno Michel and Ross Brawn share their views on the current state of Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 and explain why investment at junior levels should boost the top tier

FIA F2
Dec 13, 2019