Albon: Track time crucial to closing the gap to Verstappen

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Alex Albon admits optimising upcoming test days is key to closing the performance gap to Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

The British-born Thai driver has been impressive in his rookie Formula 1 season. In fact, the frustrating collision with Lewis Hamilton late on in Brazil resulted in his first non-top six finish since moving up from Toro Rosso at Spa.

Looking ahead, Albon is also confident that the approach he has taken to this year will keep him on an upward trajectory.

"It’s more just carrying on what I’ve done," he was quoted by Crash.net. "I haven’t done any changes in terms of my thought process until the end of the year.

"In the back of my head it’s still all about a need to keep developing and getting ready for next year.

"Next year I’ll know the tracks more and I’ll be more experienced, so it’s making sure I have a good foundation ready for 2020."

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But while Albon has found himself battling the other top six drivers at times in the past few races, he is still struggling to consistently be in the same ballpark as Verstappen.

"I'm still finding areas in the car where I know I need to work on and just feel more comfortable with," he explained.

"But I know that's [down to] seat time and that's playing around with different things, just finding that happy middle place where I'm confident in the car and I'm feeling like I can really extract that performance out of it.

"I know it'll take time, but that's also why I'm looking forward to the testing post-season in Abu Dhabi and even when we have our pre-season testing.

"Of course it's not that easy to do a lot of changes during a race weekend just because you have very limited time and not much time to experiment with the car.

"I think it's just general driving really and once I can start to really push the car I will feel comfortable, that's when the lap time will pick up."

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