Red Bull seek Albon race pace solutions after huge deficit in Austria

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Red Bull is looking for solutions to Alex Albon's race pace after he finished 44 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in the Styrian Grand Prix.

Without the disruptions that impacted the first race in Austria a week earlier, the Thai driver found himself a pit-stop behind teammate Max Verstappen after just 25 laps and under attack from Sergio Perez in the closing laps in possibly his most disappointing race for the team so far.

It was in that late duel with the Racing Point though, that Albon almost suffered the same fate as he had a week earlier when Perez damaged his front wing against the Red Bull trying to go down the inside at Turn 4.

“I was having Lewis [Hamilton] flashbacks,” he smiled in the paddock post-race. “But it was a good race.

"This weekend I lacked a bit of pace, to be honest. I need to check where to find the time – we think we know. I am happy we got fourth – it was good to get some points after last week.”

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For Red Bull boss Christian Horner, Albon's issues appeared to lie in the first stint, as he noted how his speed was competitive even Perez was closing in late on.

"Alex had a race of two halves," he said. "The first half he was struggling and then the second half, I thought he drove well and his pace was good.

"We need to understand that with him and hopefully help him get more comfortable with the car on the heavy fuel because his pace in the second half of the race was strong.

"He fought very well with Perez, who was the fastest car on the circuit - and at that stage three-four tenths quicker than [Vatteri] Bottas, who had the freshest tyres."

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan then offered his view, believing tyre management across a stint was Albon's main weakness versus Verstappen.

"We do a pit stop and bolt new tyres on and he says the car balance is very, very nice," he said. "But the deterioration from that appears to be greater in its magnitude than it is for Max.

"We've listened to his feedback and it is really very, very good, his memory of corners and laps and so on is most impressive.

"Quite why [he has the problems] we are not entirely sure yet.

"He suffered a little bit more and then, as you've probably seen on the telly, he picked up some front right blistering, and he was trying to protect that as well as be competitive and push as hard as he can.

"I think that whatever is causing it, we don't really know but the drop off is slightly greater for Alex by the looks of it."