‘An Unusual Gift’ – Red Bull F1 Boss Elaborates What Transpired Between Sergio Perez and Alex Albon Decision

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February 24, 2021 2:30 pm

Alex Albon endured a very lackluster outing for Red Bull in 2020. This was his first full season with the Austrian outfit, and he looked out of his depth. He was replaced by the experienced Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez during the offseason.

But, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, thinks that this is not an indictment on the Thai-licensed driver’s natural talent.

He was rewarded with a switch to the team after the 2019 mid-season summer break. The 24-year-old continued to impress with the Austrian team for the rest of 2019 and was given the for the 2020 season.

However, his 2020 season didn’t go to plan, and Red Bull chose to take advantage of Perez‘s availability on the driver market to replace Albon.

Red Bull still believe in Albon says, Horner

In an interview, Horner revealed he still feels that Albon still has a future with Red Bull. He thought the fact that he’s their reserve driver shows that.

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 10: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Racing Point walks out for the drivers autograph signing session during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Brit said, “We all wanted Alex to keep his seat. He has potential, but he lacked consistency. And that is why we have kept him in the team as a reserve and simulator driver. He will do tire tests for us, he has accepted that role and we will try to get the most out of it.”

Horner felt that they had to take advantage of Perez being available on the driver market.“It was an unusual gift to have Sergio Pérez in the market at the end of the season. We wanted to give Alex time, and things got better and better, but in the end, it was too late.”

Albon was under more pressure than he could handle

What people don’t realize is that Albon has been in F1 for only two years, and 1.5 of those two years were spent with Red Bull, one of the toughest race seats in F1. 

Albon was in a tough position where he couldn’t outshine Max Verstappen but he had to get consistent fourth and fifth-place finishes.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

This put him under pressure to perform consistently and showed in his performances. 

So, maybe he was promoted to a team that is a little outside his talent threshold. However, Red Bull should also have shown the requisite patience.

Nevertheless, the young driver is now out of the line of fire and can take time to gain more experience and build up his skills. Who knows, maybe he’ll impress Red Bull enough to be re-promoted to F1.

Ashish Thomas

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided. His passion for the sport ignited after watching Michael Schumacher near the end of his prime in the 2005 season. Since then, he has been a self-proclaimed Tifosi of Ferrari. He expects Charles Leclerc to be multiple-time world champion with Ferrari and thinks the Monesgasque has certain aspects of Schumi in him.

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