By Alan Baldwin
MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Thai driver Alexander Albon won plenty of praise after he started 17th and finished fifth on his Red Bull debut in Belgium last weekend, but former Toro Rosso team mate Daniil Kvyat is not jumping on any bandwagon.
The 25-year-old Russian sounded unimpressed by the line of questioning from reporters at the Italian Grand Prix on Thursday.
“I don’t know why you call it such a good start?,” said Kvyat, who raced for Red Bull in 2015 and 2016 before being demoted back to the energy drink brand’s sister and junior team.
“He spent 36 laps behind me in a Red Bull car. And he started in front of me as well, so I don’t know. Maybe in the future he will do better.
“If he stayed at Toro Rosso it would have been an amazing race for him, but he was at Red Bull,” added the Russian who started 19th at Spa and finished seventh.
Albon started the season as Kvyat’s team mate but was promoted last month to take the place of under-performing Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who is now back at Toro Rosso for the rest of the year.
Both Albon and Kvyat had grid penalties in Belgium due to Honda introducing a ‘Spec 4’ upgrade but the Thai reverted to an older engine for the Sunday.
“It’s nice to start off having a good race,” Albon told reporters separately. “That was kind of a nice way to have my first race and not come into this weekend with too many questions.”
Albon, currently the leading rookie in the championship standings in 10th place overall, said the medium tyres had made life hard initially.
“I really struggled and I was kind of a bit worried because I wasn’t making any ground to anyone in front. But once we put on the soft tyres it was pretty straightforward.
“I overtook a few people so it was all good fun.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)