OPINION: Why Alex Albon’s Time In F1 Is Over After Losing Red Bull Seat

Published 12/19/2020, 2:07 AM CST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon before the race Pool via Reuters/Rudy Carezzevoli


Formula 1 was, is, and will always be a hugely competitive sport. Every year, only 20 fortunate drivers in the world race in the premier motorsports division.

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And along with the opportunity, comes expectations to survive and perform. Unfortunately, though, it is increasingly likely Alex Albon might not get another shot at a drive in F1.

Entering the circuit in 2019 with Toro Rosso, Albon almost immediately impressed the Red Bull management. But following the conclusion of 2020, it feels like there is no way back for the Thai driver in the sport.

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Alex Albon has gotten enough chances to prove his mettle at Red Bull

Two complete seasons in F1 are a dream for any young and aspiring driver. And within that realm, Albon got a shot at both Toro Rosso. And more importantly, the main team, Red Bull Racing.

But there has always been a sense of incompleteness, and inconsistency to Albon’s driving. He was way off the pace to teammate Verstappen in practice sessions, and the latter phases in qualifying. Needless to say, these are important parts of a driver’s race weekend build-up.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Complemented with unimpressive race starts, Albon mostly found it tough getting back up the grid. And anything less than a P5 finish will always be insignificant to a team like Red Bull, who aspire to compete with Mercedes for titles.

Is there any way back for him at sister team AlphaTauri?

One benefit of staying within the Red Bull academy, is the doors that open up at sister team AlphaTauri. But with their own ambitions of becoming a proper midfield team, they too can afford to get picky with their drivers’ lineup.

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Pierre Gasly looks set to lead the team and hone his natural leadership skills under boss Franz Tost. The team management also highly rate Yuki Tsunoda, who they believe can become the next big talent in Formula 1 going forward.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

In addition, the 2022 seats situation does not look promising, even if Albon were to go elsewhere. Most teams in the midfield have a set lineup for a few more years, while Haas and Alfa Romeo have affiliation ties with the Ferrari Academy. Williams may become an option if Russell is promoted. But there is no guarantee of a seat security there as well.

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Therefore, as harsh as the reality sounds, Albon would likely have to explore opportunities elsewhere such as Formula E. Because as things stand, Albon’s time in Formula 1 has now come to an end.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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