In 2021, Red Bull F1 decided to replace Alexander Albon with Sergio Pérez to become the next team mate to Max Verstappen. While this move proved beneficial for the Austrian team, the British Thai driver didn’t take it well and had a surprising revelation about former team mate Max Verstappen during his interview on the Beyond the Grid Formula One podcast.
In 2020, Red Bull was soundly beaten by Mercedes. Max Verstappen finished third in the drivers’ standings behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Alexander Albon, the Dutchman’s teammate this year, finished the season in seventh place, behind Sergio Pérez, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr. Red Bull thus deciding to replace the British Thai with Sergio Pérez for the 2021 season.
If this move turned out to be a success for the Austrian team, since the Mexican played a big role in Max Verstappen’s world championship title, Alexander Albon, for his part, had a rather difficult time of it.
“My ousting from the Red Bull seat? It killed me” says Albon,
“It killed me, it killed me… They announced that I wouldn’t be a race driver any more quite late, I think it was in December. They continued to believe in me and trust me, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, everyone at Red Bull, and I still have a great relationship with them,
“But from my side it was more or less like, ‘I want to be in F1. I feel like I’m the hungriest driver I know, how can I get back into F1?” the current Williams driver confessed.
During his time at Red Bull it was very obvious Albon was treated firmly as a support act to Verstappen. But for Albon, he has no resentment towards the Dutchman despite the fact that Verstappen is sometimes perceived as arrogant by some because of his ruthlessly direct manner.
Verstappen is “not at all” arrogant, Albon clarifies. For him, Verstappen is just “very straightforward. One of the most direct, to be precise. He has a high level of self-confidence – logical when you’re world champion. He had that before.”
“To be honest, he doesn’t have to be political at all. He can let his actions on the track speak for himself. People sometimes see him as arrogant. But I don’t think he’s that at all. He’s very Determined, very hungry, knows what he can do. But he’s not arrogant.”
At Williams, Albon has opened a new chapter in his career. At Nicholas Latifi’s side, he is suddenly number 1 in the team. And he wants to stay that way: “I really believe in this team and see a great future for this team, and I want to be a part of it.”