It is not getting any easier for Alexander Albon at Red Bull Racing. He has an immense amount of talent and potential; he just isn’t able to extract the performances on the track come race days.
It seemed like things could slightly turn around after a brilliant podium finish in Mugello. Largely, he has just hasn’t been a capable second enforcer for Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen.
As a result, the pressure has only built on him to deliver results. While the Thai driver had decent practice and qualifying sessions, it was a race to forget for him in Portimao.
With a good result in qualifying, Alex Albon started P6 in the third row alongside Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. As the lights went out, he found himself overtaken by the other midfield rivals.
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes that the 2020 Portuguese GP was thus far the worst race for Alex Albon in his relatively short Red Bull career. The fact that this performance came when the team really needed a good result from him, does not bode well for his future.
Speaking to the podcast ‘F1: Chequered Flag’, Palmer said, “Albon was behind him (Kimi Raikkonen) for pretty much the whole race, behind an Alfa Romeo that qualified 16th. Just unable to make any inroads at all. Really, really tough race, lapped by his teammate.
“When the pressure is being put on and he’s had probably his worst weekend, I’d say that is his worst race yet for Red Bull pretty comfortably. It feels awfully timed.” concluded Palmer.
The fact that the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who do not possess the fastest of cars, were racing in front of him, did not make it any easier. As the race progressed, he lost time and places, owing to the sharp turns and corners as well as the pit stops.
By Red Bull’s standards, a team known to make its mark at the front of the grid, P12 is in no way an acceptable result. It only raises more questions of whether Albon deserves to be in the car for the 2021 season.
Speculation will only intensify now, with options like Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg waiting in the wings. Thus, it is going to be interesting to see if Albon does make the cut for the new season.