Alexander Albon, former Red Bull Racing driver, believes he performed better as Max Verstappen‘s teammate than his replacement, Sergio Perez, despite struggling during his time with the team and being replaced after a year and a half.
‣ Alexander Albon was replaced by Sergio Perez in Red Bull Racing in 2020 after struggling in the season.
‣ Lewis Hamilton became world champion for the seventh time in 2020, with Max Verstappen often unable to compete against the Mercedes.
‣ Albon believes that his performance was better than Perez’s, despite the difficult season he had with Red Bull.
‣ Albon has since found success at Williams, scoring 27 points and ranking 13th in the world championship.
In 2019, Alexander Albon found himself unexpectedly racing alongside Max Verstappen for Red Bull Racing. He’s a British Thai driver who continued to race with the team in 2020. But then, the journey with the Milton Keynes-based team came to an end. They chose to bring on Sergio Perez instead. Albon has been vocal about his doubts, questioning whether he could have performed better than Perez during his time.
Lewis Hamilton had a stellar year in 2020. He clinched the world championship title for the seventh time, leaving everyone else in the dust. Verstappen, despite driving the RB16, often didn’t stand a chance against the Mercedes. He did manage to win two GPs, though. It was a challenging year for Red Bull, and Albon had his fair share of struggles. Now a driver for Williams, Albon only made it to the podium twice and often found himself battling it out in the midfield.
Red Bull decided to part ways with Albon after a year and a half. Three years on, Albon reflects on his time there. He says, “Max was qualifying third or fourth, sometimes even fifth. Sometimes finishing races, generally third or fourth. So then I would be maybe three or four tenth of him in some races, that would put me 12th, 11th and they were disastrous. But the year after, I feel shy or awkward to say this, the car was first or second almost every race. Lewis and Max are fighting for the title, and Checo was fourth or third, or fifth.”
Albon further elaborated on his thoughts in the High Performance Podcast. He said, “But the gap between Max was actually, in most cases, bigger than it was, when I was Max’s teammate. And so, I just kind of had this like, I was like, well, he is not having… You know, he is a replacement to me. But people shouldn’t discredit it as much as a bad year as it was. I was still, in reflection, better, than the two previous teammates, or the teammate he has currently and the teammate he had before me.”
Albon’s career took a turn for the better at Williams. He had a strong year, cleverly scoring 27 points. This put him in 13th place in the world championship. Not too shabby, eh?