This coming season, Alexander Albon will take up a new role of a reserve driver at Red Bull. The Austrian team announced the Thai driver’s replacement after the season ended. Making their third attempt at solving their second driver problem, Red Bull will take a chance with Sergio Perez in 2021.
Pierre Gasly preceded Alexander Albon; he was promoted to Red Bull after Daniel Ricciardo moved to Renault. He was later replaced by Albon mid-season after the former failed to live up to the team’s expectations.
Alexander Albon had one season to get an extension on his contract. However, he failed to live up to such high expectations. As a result, Red Bull decided to sign a driver out of their young driver’s academy.
Helmut Marko explained Red Bull’s reasoning behind moving on from Alexander Albon.
“A lack of consistency. And that he was too easily unsettled, for example when the wind increased in intensity or came from a different direction. Or when the tires started to degrade, then he lost a disproportionately large amount of time.”
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Marko on Alexander Albon’s unsatisfactory result
The Thai driver showed a lot of potential in 2019. However, he failed to live come close to his teammate. Max Verstappen was consistently overshadowing Albon with his performance.
Marko said, “It’s definitely a mental story too. But if you have a team-mate who always drives at the absolute top level, no matter what the car is, I think that plays a subordinate role.”
“Of course, we get to the mental. All the reports and the unsatisfactory results unsettled him. His gap to Verstappen has increased over the course of the season, not decreased. Admittedly marginal, but he has grown,” he concluded.
Sergio Perez comes to Red Bull after an impressive 2020 season. While the team will hope that the Mexican turns out to be the answer to their second driver problem, Albon will stay on as a reserve driver and try to make the most of the next opportunity he gets.