Alex Albon joked that the chaotic pitlane scenes sparked by the Safety Car called following Charles Leclerc’s crash at the French GP reminded him of NASCAR.
Leclerc was pushing hard to maintain the lead after seeing Max Verstappen pit before him but he overcooked it and slid into the barriers at turn 11 here at Paul Ricard.
Indeed, the car needed to be removed and that prompted a Safety Car, leaving most of the field to dive into the pitlane for fresh tyres, heightening the chance of near misses between cars as they entered and exited their pitboxes.
One such near-miss saw Carlos Sainz and Albon nearly come together as Ferrari released the Spaniard into the path of the Williams driver, ensuring a 5-second time penalty would be slapped on the Scuderia man, and it certainly was a close call looking at the TV screens.
Speaking after the race, Albon said that the tight nature of the pitlane here at Paul Ricard made that situation more likely, and also joked that it felt like NASCAR with such little room for manoeuvre.
Asked by Give Me Sport to recall the incident, he said:
“I felt it was a bit marginal.
“It was just one of those things, weirdly for such a long pitlane it’s actually a very tight pitlane and it makes sense now why [the limit] is 60kmh, at the time it was chaos. It felt like NASCAR!”
Ultimately, the main thing is there was no collision and no mechanics caught up in it, but Alex certainly had to be alert as the Ferrari emerged just metres in front of him.
Albon would end up finishing 13th come the chequered flag, whilst Sainz would take 5th after rising through the field after starting on the back row following PU component change-related grid penalties.