Red Bull ‘Wanted to See’ Alex Albon Next to Verstappen in ’21

Published 12/26/2020, 1:06 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Alexander Albon joined Red Bull in 2019, replacing Pierre Gasly mid-season, as the latter failed to live up to their expectations. He showed immense potential as the 2019 season wrapped up and won himself a contract for 2020.

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However, his performance in 2020 was sub-par. Red Bull hoped that Albon could get respectably close to Max Verstappen and help the team in the Constructors’ Championship.

Following Albon‘s performance in 2020, his seat was in question. The team’s boss, Christian Horner, had assured fans that the young driver had Red Bull’s support. However, as the season wrapped up, the team announced his replacement for 2021 – Sergio Perez.

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Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in the pits FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Christian Horner admitted that while Red Bull wanted to continue with Albon, the decision came pursuant to his performance this season.

“All of us wanted to see Alex retain the seat for 2021.

“We therefore made the decision to evaluate the performances at the end of the season with a full set of data. Looking at the delta between our two drivers and given Sergio’s strong performances, particularly in the second half of the year, we made the decision that Sergio had earned the 2021 seat,” he said.

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Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – October 10, 2020 Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in the pits FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Driving alongside Max Verstappen is not easy. The Dutch driver is incredibly fast and skilled in his racecraft. Pierre Gasly failed to keep up with him in 2019, and Albon failed to do the same this season.

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However, Horner expressed his admiration regarding how the Thai driver handled all the pressure. “He handled this extremely well and it impressed me how much strength, resilience and class he has displayed throughout.

Max’s teammate had been a matter of debate for a while. Horner even revealed that they delayed the decision as much as they could to ensure that Albon got every chance to succeed. Eventually, Red Bull signed Sergio Perez for 2021.

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However, it remains to be seen whether Perez can be the answer to Red Bull’s second driver problem and restore the team to their former glory.

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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