Why Alex Albon’s F1 Career Isn’t Over Yet, Despite Red Bull Axing for 2021

Published 12/24/2020, 8:05 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Now that Red Bull has made the announcement of replacing Alex Albon with Sergio Perez, Thai driver is left without a drive for 2021. He is accepting a role as the reserve and test driver of the team since there is no vacancy at the sister team AlphaTauri either.

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One can feel nothing but happiness for Perez since he was given the boot at Racing Point. He could easily have been without a drive for 2021 himself. Whilst it is unbridled for Perez, it is agony for Albon. He has been driving, for the majority of this season, with a noose hanging over his neck.
However, Albon’s F1 career is not yet done and dusted; it is far from it. He is just 24 years old with the brand of Red Bull Racing attached to his CV. So, how can he gain an entry back in an F1 car again?

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Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason

Options within the Red Bull team

Back driving at Red Bull for Alex Albon

Max Verstappen has been eating his teammates alive in his tenure with the team. Daniel Ricciardo, in some ways, left the team because of their willingness to build it more around the Dutchman. Since then, he has been in a different league altogether compared to Gasly and Albon.
What makes anyone think that Perez will be any different? Granted, he has more experience and now even a race win under his belt. However he has been made to look better at Racing Point because of his wealthy and untalented teammate.
If Max outclasses him next season, they can look at the Thai once again to replace Perez in 2022; don’t count out a potential mid-season switch, either.
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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Race seat at AlphaTauri in 2022

A seat can open up at this team anytime. Gasly has an inclination towards competing at the front end of the grid. Since a door at the senior team seems to be closed, he may leave soon.
Or what if the Honda-backed Tsunoda impresses significantly enough to earn a drive next to Max? Or what if totally tanks in his debut season? In either of the scenarios, an opportunity could open up for Albon.

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Options outside Red Bull for Alex Albon

The former Carlin driver has sufficient backing and ability to get a seat outside Red Bull Programme, should he choose to opt-out of it. A flurry of lower mid-field teams like Haas, Williams, and Alfa Romeo could vie for his signature if he is available.

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Though not the strongest qualifier, his race craft is respectable and he was outscoring Daniil Kvyat in just his rookie season. In any case, he deserves a second shot in F1.

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Bharat Aggarwal

586 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. His fandom for Formula One began with the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and he fell in love with NBA after watching Dirk Nowitzki create magic on the basketball court. He is also a Manchester United fan.

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