It is now public that Alex Albon will not partake in full-time F1 driving duties next year. Now operating as Red Bull reserve driver, Albon’s role will lie in helping the team prepare for the current and 2022 campaign.
Sergio Perez now takes on the mantle of being the second enforcer to Max Verstappen during the races. Seemingly, Albon is not totally out of the picture, at either Red Bull or AlphaTauri.
In fact, if any other team is interested in taking on a driver at short notice, Albon would become available. This is because in Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko’s eyes, the Thai driver could achieve some valuable ‘racing kilometers’ that way.
The team have currently taken on Albon in a test and reserve driver capacity for 2021
Motorsport-Total quote Marko as saying that Red Bull is ready to “loan him out if the situation arises in another team that they need a driver at short notice. So that he can achieve racing kilometres.” (translated via Google Translate)
One factor in Albon’s inconsistency this season was also down to the fact that teammate Verstappen drove on a whole different level. Red Bull believe that that gap between Max and Albon, albeit marginally, grew over the course of the season.
“Of course, we get to the mental level, all the reports and the unsatisfactory results unsettled him. His deficit on Verstappen has widened over the course of the season , not reduced.”
“It is marginal, but it has grown,” concluded Dr. Marko.
Albon’s 2020 season was quite below expectations for a Red Bull Racing driver
A Red Bull driver should always target to be at the front of the grid than in the midfield. Naturally then, achieving a P4 in the races is a minimum, if the team is to compete with Mercedes.
However, Albon’s P7 position in the Drivers’ standings did not do him any justice, struggling to consistently achieve podium and P4 finishes in the races. Regardless, Albon will now do his best in 2021 to put himself in seat contention ahead of 2022.