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    Albon mounts podium in Race 1 at Zolder

    Zolder 07 agosto 2021

    Alex Albon secured an excellent third place in the first round of the DTM weekend at Zolder in Belgium. It was the Thai driver’s first podium of the season. After setting off from the middle of the group, with Albon ninth and Lawson tenth, the two Ferraris rounded the first turn unscathed. However, Juncadella braked late at the first chicane, hitting several cars, including Lawson’s. A very violent rear-end collision sent the New Zealander’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 spinning out into the gravel. The Ferrari returned to the track, but after pitting, he was forced to retire. All AF Corse’s hopes then turned to Albon, who moved into second place after the drivers ahead of him made their first compulsory pit stops. The Thai increased his pace and set quick times behind Rockenfeller, who stopped on lap 12. Albon now held an almost 34-second advantage over Van der Linde, but the latter was in virtual first place, having already pitted. Albon pitted shortly after the halfway point and, even though he stalled during the restart, like at Lausitzring, the AlphaTauri AF Corse driver re-entered in third. From then on, the race was all about the top three, Van der Linde, Rockenfeller and Albon, all bunched within two seconds of each other. Although Albon tried to attack the two leading Audis, the difference in acceleration on exiting the corners prevented him from launching a proper attack. Thus, he finished the 55-minute plus three-lap race in third place. The first podium of the season for the ex-Formula 1 driver only partially mitigated the disappointment over Lawson’s early departure. Van der Linde, on 97 points, stretched his lead in the standings over the New Zealander on 65.