The Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session concluded with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas locking out the front row. However, one of the biggest shocks was seeing Alex Albon languishing outside the top 10.
It was almost as if he was suffering from the Pierre Gasly Syndrome.
Now, Williams F1 driver George Russell has opened up on his friend’s dismal qualifying performance. According to the Briton, Albon was forced to “look like an idiot” due to the Red Bull’s struggles in qualifying.
Since practice, both the Bulls have been struggling with a squirrelly RB16 at the Hungaroring. The Anglo-Thai driver reported plenty of understeer during practice. And qualifying was simply the final nail in the coffin.
Teammate Max Verstappen managed to get into Q3 but did not help matters with the seventh-fastest time. Worse still, Albon is likely under a lot of pressure following two difficult races in Austria.
The good news is that Russell is batting in his corner since the two raced against each other in various junior categories.
Speaking to Sky F1, he said, “I mean, I’ve known Alex for the last, you know, 15 years, been in the same paddock as him. He’s one of the best drivers we all race. Max, Charles, all of us will say it – he’s always always been at the front [in] everything he’s done.
“And I don’t know what the hell is going on. I feel really, really bad for him because he’s being made to look like an idiot and he’s absolutely not. He’s won in everything he’s done. So I don’t know what’s going on but they need to sort out for him.”
Meanwhile, Russell and teammate Nicholas Latifi finally gave Claire Williams a reason to smile and breathe a sigh of relief. After 2-3 years of propping up the rear of the grid, Russell finds himself 12th on the grid, ahead of Albon.
In addition, teammate Latifi starts not too far away in 15th place as both Williams reached Q2 for the first time since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.