Alex Albon not expecting to easily beat Logan Sargeant

Logan Sargeant was the top rookie at last weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Alex Albon has shared that himself and rookie team-mate Logan Sargeant so far have a “good relationship”, and that the American’s instant pace might have come as a shock to the paddock.

Many didn’t expect a lot from Sargeant ahead of last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix; however, Albon knew that the American was “naturally quick”, something he proved at the season-opener.

Sargeant qualified sixteenth and came agonisingly close to making it to Q2, after posting the same lap-time as Lando Norris in P15.

The American rookie went on to finish 12th in the race, just two places behind Albon.

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Sargeant was actually the top rookie at the Bahrain International Circuit and kept Albon firmly in his sights, with the Thai driver noting that the American has “the right attitude”.

“Very good, he’s naturally quick,” Albon told SpeedCity Broadcasting.

“I’ve seen it from last year in his time in F2 — his pole positions and just his general pace — so to me it was to be expected but obviously to everyone else maybe it wasn’t seen.

“It’s great because also we’re fighting the same things, we’re giving the same comments. Of course he doesn’t have the experience of myself but he has the right language and the right attitude.

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“Where we need stuff changed — factory, aero, whatever it may be — we’re pushing the same things, so it’s pretty clear to everyone back at Grove what we need.

“I’m sure it’s the start of a good relationship and he definitely keeps me on my toes!”

Albon enjoyed an excellent start to his second season at the Grove-based team, after successfully navigating his way into Q2, before finishing 10th.

Incredibly, Albon thought he’d been dumped out of the points places after being overtaken by Pierre Gasly, only to then be reassured by Williams that he was still in the points.

“I was really disappointed when I lost a position to Pierre — I thought I was already in 10th and then thought I was 11th and thought, ‘Oh God, I’ve let the team down here’ but then they said, ‘Oh you’re in 10th now’ and it was a bit of rejuvenated energy to hold off Yuki!” Albon added.

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“It was really good. When you look at our strategic analysis/comparison/pace coming into this weekend, we were 10th quickest, there’s no secret about that. We did a great job to make it work, so I’m pleasantly surprised, truthfully.

“We’ve still got work to do. We know our limitations, we know there’s short-term progress we can do, so to still score points… Aston of course have done an amazing job — they’re on the podium, that grabs the headlines — but if you look at our improvement we are second best. We’ve done a mega job from last year and here we are.

“We’re in a better fighting position. We still need a couple more tenths to be in the midfield, but I’m super happy.”