Alex Albon accepted the blame on Friday after his heavy and expensive crash during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix threatened to derail his future with Red Bull.
The London-born Thai driver, who has struggled this year to match the pace of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, said he knew he should have backed off when he ran wide at the final corner before careering off into the barriers.
“It was just one of those things,” he said as he tried to make light of his crash, which wrecked most of his car.
“I should have pulled out of it really.
“I was a bit surprised by the lack of grip. And it was quite a difficult, awkward angle – It wasn’t fun.”
His crash came midway through the floodlit second session at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir. The right side of his Red Bull car was severely damaged and both wheels were left hanging only by their tethers.
Albon, who is fighting to keep his seat in the team next year after being warned to ‘raise his game’, was lucky to escape injury.
He said he had been trying “a couple of things, that didn’t quite work out, but actually I felt I was just getting up to speed.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the crash was “frustrating” and that he expected the repair bill for the car to be “significant.”
“Thankfully, Alex is OK, that’s the main thing,” he added. “Obviously there’s a lot of superficial damage. The ‘monocoque’ looked ok, the engine looks OK and it’s not a race gearbox, but it’s certainly going to keep the guys busy tonight.”
Albon wound up 10th after the opening day’s practice which was led by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes ahead of Verstappen.